We take a preventive approach to dentistry because we know you would rather avoid serious dental treatments if you can. Dr. Matthew Word successfully treats cavities, gum disease, enamel wear and more, but would rather prevent those problems from ever occurring in his patients. Although conservative in treatment, preventive care is active in identifying problems before they manifest.
The following practices help us prevent and intercept developing problems.
The two best ways to prevent tooth decay are maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist regularly. It is recommended that most patients attend two annual visits per year, which gives us the opportunity to perform a routine exam where we will check your teeth, gums and oral tissues for discrepancies, as well as conduct a professional cleaning. The exam is performed with special tools that check gum health, and we also take 3-D images of your mouth to assist Dr. Word in developing a treatment plan geared toward your specific oral health needs.
Identifying problems early can help you keep your natural teeth longer and reduces the likelihood of needing to spend countless dollars on restorative work. Most insurances will cover the cost of your exams and professional cleanings.
Decay-causing plaque can accumulate in the nooks and crannies of teeth even when the most stringent oral care routine is maintained. During your professional cleaning, your hygienist will use special tools and methods to remove plaque in all of those hard to reach places before checking your gum health and taking 3-D images.
Oral cancer screening
Because patients visit their dentist twice a year for an oral exam, we often are the first line of defense against oral cancer.
Dr. Word performs an oral cancer screening in conjunction with your routine exam, which includes discussion of your health history, an exam for visible cancerous lesions, and palpation of your neck and jaw.
Visible signs of oral cancer may include the following:
- Persistent sores or irritation
- Red or white patches
- Lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Pain, numbness or tenderness of the mouth or lips
- Difficulty or pain chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
Dr. Word is proud to offer GALILEOS™, the latest and best in diagnostic imaging. In 14 seconds, GALILEOS™ 3D cone beam technology delivers 200 images so Dr. Word can diagnose and plan your treatment as effectively as possible.
If you’ve ever wondered what a developing cavity, crack, receding gums or a loose filling looks like, you’re in luck. We use intraoral cameras to give patients the opportunity to see areas of concern through the eyes of their dentist.
Dr. Word also provides pediatric treatment to make it easier for the entire family to receive quality dental care in one location. Like adults, preventive care is at the forefront for pediatric dental care and starts your children on the road to lifetime good oral health. Dr. Word encourages parents to bring their children in for their first appointment by age 3 so he can examine their craniofacial development, tooth eruption progress and begin treatments that protect their emerging teeth, which are at high risk for developing caries.
In addition to biannual cleanings and exams, the following treatments and practices are used to keep children’s teeth healthy.
Fluoride fortifies tooth enamel and protects teeth from acid erosion and decay.
Permanent chewing molars have particularly deep, narrow grooves that are difficult to reach with toothbrush bristles. Application of a protective plastic coating, or sealant, over these grooves as soon as these teeth erupt protects them from decay caused by plaque accumulation.