Preventative Dental Medicine

Our mouth is the gateway to our overall health.  Recently we have come to understand that there is an increasingly interrelatedness between the health of our oral environment and the rest of our body. 

While the main part of many a dentist professional life is to halt and restore the negative effects of dental ailments, such as caries, gum disease and bruxism, the practice of Frances H. Yankie has made prevention of such diseases a key aspect of our daily operation.  This was not a business decision, but an ethical one. Preventative dental medicine will increase the power of the patient to resist disease and prolong a comfortable life.

The preventative treatments below are rapidly becoming the standard of care in our practice:

1-      Invisalign

Orthodontics tackle all main sources of dental and gum disease and wear at once.  Malocclusion, a defective alignment between the upper and lower dental arches, is a lot more common than you think.  Malocclusion is mostly inherited and leads to greater risk of tooth decay and tooth damage due to uneven pressure on your teeth and jaw.  75% Of adults can greatly benefit from re-alignment of their teeth.  Our practice offers healthy teeth re-alignment to adults and teens through Invisalign, a novel treatment that gradually aligns teeth through the use of custom fitted, clear aligners, which are “invisible”.  Teeth alignment is for life.  Please talk to Dr. Yankie about your options and watch the following video following this link. (Straight Talk Video)

2-      Laser Treatment

Scaling and root planing involves removing plaque and build-up below the gum line and smoothens the root surface to limit future build-up.  This technique can be easily and safely supported with laser treatment.  An estimated 80% of people suffer from gum disease, which is ultimately hard to control, even if you visit your hygienist regularly and have excellent home care, simply because the deep periodontal pockets are hard to reach.  Gum disease is the # 1 cause of tooth loss. 

The periodontal laser works in two ways, it uses light energy to remove unhealthy tissue and it kills the bacteria that causes periodontal and other gum afflictions.  Laser treatment has had a high rate of success in stopping and reversing gum disease.  It’s ability to save teeth, bone and gum tissue improves the overall health of the mouth and the quality of life for many patients.  Laser treatment is an additional certified service offered by your hygienist and can generally be comfortably fitted within your regular hygiene appointment. 

3-       Night guard

“Your teeth are turning to dust on your pillow case” may seem like a rather over the top statement.  Not so for your dentist.  Whether you have been a natural “grinder” or “clencher” all your life, (or are just a temporary one due to excess stress), teeth, however strong, are no match for the force of our jaws in grinding mode.  Bruxism can literally destroy your teeth.  If you own a valuable car, wouldn't you rather bring it inside a garage overnight, during a hail storm? That is exactly a night guard's function: to provide protection from your natural elements!  There are three types of night guards that Dr. Yankie prescribes:

At the approximate cost of one filling, the soft night guard provides a great deal of protection.  A night guard is such a surprisingly simple solution to a huge problem. And so cost effective! Talk to us about it and see which night guard suits you.

4-      CEREC

CEREC, the Ferrari among dental tools allows Dr. Yankie to create and customize porcelain inlays, onlays and crowns just for you.  CEREC technology is not only convenient, it is also healthy.  The absence of metals and the use of ceramic materials that closely match the composition and color of your natural tooth, make the CEREC restoration look, feel and behave more like a natural tooth would. For instance: when you eat hot food or drink something cold, the restoration and tooth expand and contract at almost equal rates.  The ceramic materials are chemically bonded to your tooth, so Dr. Yankie can save as much original tooth structure as possible.  What makes a CEREC procedure both restorative and preventative is that CEREC often allows your original tooth structure, that part which touches your gums, to remain intact, therewith preventing gum disease, infections, root caries  and other unwholesome disorders, which are often found around existing caps (metal crowns that entirely cover your tooth).

5-      Routine Hygiene Visits and Dental Exams

Interval exams and cleanings are the cornerstone for a lifetime of good dental health. Dental exams can help keep your body healthy as well. Since there is a connection between dental health and overall health, a healthy mouth can decrease the risk of developing serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. Dental exams are an important part of preventive dental and periodontal care and are helpful in maintaining your overall health.  In addition to x-rays, exams intend to diagnose problems, since many dental conditions do not have noticeable symptoms for the patient.   A minor problem like a cavity, for instance, could turn into a more costly procedure, such as a root canal, if it is not detected in time.  Exams are therefore the most cost-effective dental treatment that you can get!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”