Are you familiar with a term called preventive dentistry? When you practice good oral hygiene every day, and visit your dentist twice a year, you are participating in the prevention of future dental problems. At the top of the preventive list is tooth decay and gum disease – two of the most prominent issues that dentists see in patients. Your Pella, IA general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, will quiz you on some general dentistry questions to see if you’ve been paying attention at all of those biannual appointments.
Q1. True or false – Amalgam fillings bond to your dentin so they can never be removed or replaced.
Q2. True or false – Preventive dental x-rays are for looking at your jawbone, but cannot detect cavities.
Q3. True or false – There is only one type of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Q4. True or false – Dental cleanings are usually performed by your dental hygienist.
A1. FALSE – Amalgam fillings were once standard, but over the years, dentists have begun to use composite material that is more versatile and can match your tooth color. Many people opt for replacing old silver or gold fillings with new tooth-colored versions.
A2. FALSE – Dental x-rays can look at your jawbone health, but they are also helpful as a screening for cavities. Other benefits of x-rays include detection of unseen cysts, tumors, bone density issues, or problems with dental roots.
A3. TRUE – The bacteria responsible for cavities are called Streptococcus mutans, and they are present in the mouths of all but 1% of the human population. We contract S. mutans when we are babies from physical affection given by our parents, families, or caregivers. These insidious germs feed off of sugar and high-carbohydrate foods, which allows them to produce lactic acid. This acid can damage (or even destroy) your tooth enamel, making your teeth highly vulnerable to tooth decay.
A4. FALSE – Removal of tartar (hardened plaque) that has been left on your teeth for a long time will almost always be performed by a dental hygienist. When tartar forms on or below your gumline, a professional cleaning will be necessary in order for this damaging film to be removed safely.
Dental Checkups from your Pella, IA General Dentist
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.