People need dental care throughout their lives, but the concerns that affect them can vary with age. Children are more at risk for cavities and usually need more preventative care. Meanwhile, older adults have to worry about gum disease and tooth loss. Family dentists are a great fit for large families, since they can deal with a wide variety of concerns. Here are four types of care family dentists can provide:
1. Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are commonly used on children, but they can be beneficial for anyone who is at risk for tooth decay. Dental sealants are made from a clear resin which is painted onto a patient's molars. The sealant is set with a special light which makes it harden. The finished dental sealant is invisible. It doesn't compromise the patient's ability to chew or floss, but it does provide additional protection from cavities.
2. Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments are another preventative measure used to prevent cavities. During a fluoride treatment, your dentist will fill trays with a strong fluoride gel. You will be instructed to bite down onto the trays, which will coat your teeth in fluoride. The fluoride will be allowed to sit on your teeth for several minutes before it's rinsed off. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride can fix very small cavities in your teeth, which can postpone or prevent the need for dental fillings.
3. Orthodontic Treatment
Many parents choose orthodontic treatment for their teenagers. The teen years are an ideal time for orthodontic treatment, since your child's adult teeth are all present, but their bones are still malleable. If you want your child to have traditional braces, your family dentist will likely refer you to a specialist. However, many family dentists can provide Invisalign treatments in-office. Invisalign utilizes a series of clear retainers to straighten teeth. It is a minimally invasive orthodontic technique that is very discreet and almost invisible.
4. Professional Cleaning and Examinations
Everyone should see their dentist two to three times a year for a routine exam. During this exam, your dentist or a dental hygienist will carefully clean your teeth. They will remove tartar from the surface of your teeth, clean plaque from beneath your gum line, and polish your teeth with an electric toothbrush. Once a year, your dentist will also take x-rays to check for cavities and other areas of concern. Family dentists can provide cleaning and exam services for your entire family.
For more information on family dentist services, contact a dentist like Thomas Krull, DDS, PC.