Family dentists care for dental patients of all ages. Thus, even if your family includes young children and older adults, all of your household members can visit the same dental provider.
Here are a few age-related dental issues and the treatments that a family dentist may provide to help prevent or remedy them.
Pediatric Dental Decay
Children may develop cavities more frequently than adults because kids tend to prefer candy, chips, and sweet drinks that feed oral bacteria. After feeding, the microbes release acidic waste. As the acids dissolve the tooth enamel, cavities form.
Family dentists offer preventive treatments to help protect your children's teeth from decay. Fluoride treatments are often applied to the teeth to remineralize the enamel and strengthen the tooth material, helping it better resist acid-related damage.
During the application of the fluoride treatments, the dentist paints the teeth with the fluoride product or allows it to rest on the teeth in a tray. The teeth absorb the fluoride, which attracts minerals that have been displaced by the acids, such as calcium and phosphorus, back to the tooth material for remineralization.
In addition to fluoride treatments, the dentist may offer sealants to help protect children's permanent teeth from decay. The sealants, which are made from resin, act as plastic barriers, preventing bacterial acids from making direct contact with the tooth material.
The dentist adds the sealants to the heavily creased chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealants help fill some of the creases and cracks of the teeth while protecting them from decay, even when food particles and plaque settle on the occlusal surfaces.
Periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease, often afflicts older people. The condition includes the formation of deep pockets between the gingival tissues and the teeth. These pockets become reservoirs for plaque and bacteria.
To treat periodontitis, family dentists may perform root scaling and planing treatments. During the procedures, tartar accumulations are scraped from the crowns and dental roots. Additionally, the roots are smoothed.
The treatment allows the gums to heal properly and removes bacteria that cause infections. If periodontitis is allowed to progress untreated, the bacteria may infect the bone, causing jawbone atrophy and tooth loss.
Root scaling and planing procedures may need to be performed intermittently until the gum disease fully reverses.
To schedule dental appointments for your family, contact the office of a family dentist in your local area.