Preventive Dental Care in Sugar Land, TX

What is preventive dental care?

Preventive dental care lays the groundwork for a healthy, beautiful smile. In combination with proper at-home hygiene practices, like twice-daily brushing and flossing at least once a day, attending regular cleanings and oral exams can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from decay and other dental health issues. Routine checkups also allow us to track your oral health and address any minor problems with your oral health before they become major ones.

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Did you know…

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Oral health is essential to your body’s overall wellbeing.

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What to expect at your preventive dental care appointment

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Professional Cleaning

To start things off, we’ll perform a complete cleaning of your teeth and gums, using special tools to remove any plaque and tartar that may have built up along the gum line. Essential aspects of your cleaning will include thorough flossing between your teeth in all those hard-to-reach places, and scraping off plaque that has accumulated along the gum line. To finish the cleaning process, we’ll polish your teeth, leaving you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to smile.

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Any Necessary X-Rays

If you're new to the office or haven’t had dental x-rays in a while, your dentist may recommend that you take care of this during your preventive care appointment. Dental x-rays let us see what’s going on beneath the surface of your smile, giving us the ability to find issues that may not be visible otherwise. With x-rays, we are able to make more accurate diagnoses and create more effective and efficient treatment plans.

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Comprehensive Exam

Your care is our utmost priority. To ensure the highest level of care, Dr. Jankowski incorporates CBCT technology to more completely examine your teeth, bones, and other oral structures in 3D. Traditional 2D imaging will also be used. When combined, these technologies give your dentist far more information than 2D imaging alone, resulting in earlier discovery of oral health issues and greater accuracy in treatment planning.

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Personalized Treatment Plan

Using the information we’ve gathered with your exam and x-rays, we’ll work together with you to craft a treatment plan customized for your unique oral health needs, budget, and lifestyle. If everything looks good, we’ll simply schedule your next routine cleaning and checkup.

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Schedule Follow Up Appointment

Our team is here for you! No matter what kind of treatment you schedule, our team is standing by to answer any questions you may have about insurance, financing, or anything else. We’ll do everything possible to make sure your every visit is straightforward and stress-free.

Preventive Treatment Options

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Cleaning & Hygiene

Regular teeth cleanings are essential to help get your smile on the right track. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your grin stays healthy and strong, while keeping an eye out for any potential problem areas. For the majority of patients, we recommend scheduling routine visits every six months so your dental hygienist can clean away any plaque, bacteria, or minor stains that may have built up since your previous visit.

Keeping up with your at-home oral hygiene is just as important as attending professional cleanings, and is the best way to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice every day for two minutes, using a fluoride-rich toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, it’s important to floss at least once every day, ideally before going to bed, in order to get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria that brushing can’t get rid of on its own.

Digital X-Rays

Digital x-rays are fast, comfortable, and above all, safe. Crisp, high-resolution images give us the ability to make more accurate diagnoses while exposing you to just a fraction of the radiation employed by traditional film x-rays. Generally, most patients can expect to receive one or two full sets of x-rays annually, but it’s possible that additional imaging will be recommended if you’ve experienced a dental emergency, or you have a potential oral health issue.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride treatments are simple, non-invasive, and are great at keeping dental decay from occurring. After your cleaning, we’ll apply a varnish or gel that is rich in fluoride to your teeth, then rinse it away after a few minutes. Fluoride strengthens your enamel by kickstarting a process called “remineralization,” which works by attracting minerals like calcium and phosphates to your teeth, helping to restore the hardness of your enamel and increase your smile’s resistance to acids.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are often recommended for children, who are at a higher risk for tooth decay, but they are also a great option for patients of all ages who want to protect their teeth from cavities. The application of dental sealants is a very straight-forward procedure, beginning with a thorough cleaning of the deep grooves and pits in the teeth. Located in the back of the mouth, molars are filled with grooves and uneven surfaces where plaque and bacteria can hide and flourish. Once the teeth are cleaned, a dental resin is applied to the molars. The resin is then cured with a UV light to help it harden, creating a powerful barrier between your teeth and the foods, drinks, acid, and bacteria that lead to decay. And the best part? Dental sealants can last for years!

Periodontal Care

Gum disease is more common than you may expect, and if left untreated, patients struggling with it can risk developing additional problems, up to and including the loss of their teeth. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and is the only stage that can be reversed with regular cleanings and good at-home hygiene. If you have gingivitis, staying on top of your regular cleanings, checkups, and at-home care will help you to regain control over your oral health before it becomes irreversible.

More advanced stages of periodontitis require more advanced and frequent treatment. In addition to laser gum therapy, which uses a powerful laser to eliminate bacteria, we usually recommend scheduling deep cleaning sessions every three to four months, depending on your unique needs. Although the bone loss from periodontitis typically does not grow back, through laser gum therapy, deep cleanings (scaling and root planing), and a change in home care regimen, this disease can be stopped.

Oral Cancer Screenings

At Sunrise Dentistry, we value your overall health. As a part of every preventive care visit, we’ll perform an oral cancer screening. Catching oral cancer early on gives us a better chance at stopping it before it spreads, and can even save your life.

Research shows that critical diagnostic information is not seen in up to 50 percent of 2D images for numerous pathologies. This is why we offer our patients the choice to have a CBCT image taken during their exam. This 3-dimensional imaging technology is an advanced way for your dentist to check for pathology of the bones of the jaw and surrounding dense tissues. If a suspicious area is detected, these images can be digitally sent to an oral radiologist for further evaluation.

Night Guards

Bruxism, or unconscious teeth grinding and clenching, is a common issue faced by many patients. As this behavior tends to happen at night while patients are asleep, night guards are a great solution for Bruxism. Night guards can be made from a variety of materials depending on the severity of your case, and work by creating a barrier between your teeth that protects them from damage caused by clenching and grinding. 

If you need a night guard, your dentist will take digital scans of your teeth and gums to craft a custom mold that will then be sent to the lab, where your night guard will be made to your exact specifications and measurements. Night guards can ease tension in your jaw in order to alleviate the painful headaches and other uncomfortable or damaging side effects of clenching and grinding, so you can get more restful sleep and keep your smile healthy.

Sport Guards

Like night guards, sports mouth guards are worn over the teeth, but are designed specifically to protect your grin from oral trauma common in patients who play high-impact sports. A custom-fitted sports guard can help protect you from dental injuries caused by collisions to the mouth, face, or head. If you’re an athlete who plays football, basketball, baseball, soccer, rugby, hockey, gymnastics, mountain biking, or other activities that put you at risk for injury due to falling, body contact, or flying objects, a sports guard is essential for protecting your smile. Tailored to fit your own unique grin, custom-fitted sports guards are comfortable and durable, so you can keep playing the sports you love.

Did you know…

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1 out of 4 adults in the U.S. has at least one cavity.

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Have questions about preventive dentistry? Find answers here.

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How do I brush my teeth properly?

Keeping up with good brushing habits is integral to your oral health, and using the proper technique can help keep your mouth free from decay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use small, circular strokes to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. You should spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Use toothpaste that is ADA-approved and rich in fluoride, and don’t forget to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or when the bristles start to look frayed or worn.

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How do I floss properly?

Daily flossing is the best way to dislodge plaque and bacteria to keep gum disease at bay, and can be easy once you know the proper technique. Begin by gathering about 24 inches of dental floss, wrapping most of it around one index or middle finger. Wind the remaining few inches around the index finger of your other hand, keeping about 1-inch of floss taut between your fingers and thumbs. Gently glide the floss between your teeth. If you’re having trouble getting the floss between your teeth, try not to force it, as it can slip and cause damage to your gums. Instead, use a gentle side-to-side rocking motion to get the floss where it needs to be. Once the floss is between your teeth, slide it into the gum line while following the c-shaped curve of the tooth. Repeat this process for both sides of every tooth. To help prevent the spread of bacteria, be sure to wind a new 1-inch section of floss before moving on to the next tooth.

We also recommend using a water flosser, like a Waterpik, to get into those hard-to-reach places in between teeth or dental prosthetics, especially for patients with limited mobility or who are otherwise unable to thoroughly floss with more traditional methods.

What's the difference between prophylactic cleanings and periodontal cleanings?

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Prophylactic cleanings, also known as “regular cleanings, ” are the cleanings you receive during your routine dental appointments. They are essential in helping to prevent decay and keep your breath fresh, and should be scheduled every 6 months. During your cleaning, we’ll remove any plaque, tartar, or bacterial buildup from your teeth and floss between them to ensure the continued health of your smile.

Periodontal cleanings are only necessary for patients with periodontal, or gum, disease, and are sometimes referred to as “deep cleanings.”  These cleaning sessions are more thorough than regular cleanings, and are meant to halt the progression of gum disease. Bacteria thrive in gum pockets that are too deep for home care to clean out, so our hygienists use specialized instruments to clean the bacteria off the teeth and out of the gum pockets. We want you to be comfortable, so we will get your gums and teeth numb before beginning. When appropriate, the dentist may recommend a time-released antibiotic gel be placed in the gum pockets to reduce bacteria.

Is preventive care covered by dental insurance?

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The vast majority of dental insurance policies fully cover routine preventive care like prophylactic (regular) cleanings, exams, and x-rays. Even if it’s not completely covered by your insurance plan, chances are it is at least partially covered. Certain plans may even cover optional treatments, like dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Get in touch with your provider for specific details about your insurance plan, or give us a call today and find out how we can help maximize your benefits.

Did you know…

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Keeping up with preventive care can save you money, time, and future dental pain.

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