Family Dentistry focuses on providing dental services and cares for the whole family. Starting from evaluating the health of the newly erupted teeth to the using of dentures – all of this come under this branch of service. Family dentistry focuses on having a dentist through the major stages of a person’s life as well as take care of the dental needs of the whole family.
It is important that babies should have their first consultation with dentists right when their first teeth erupt. This helps the dentist to evaluate the health of the teeth and gums of the child. Parents can also be taught on what are the different factors they need to be aware of to ensure healthy teeth for their children.
In their growing years, milk teeth give way to permanent teeth – it also comes with different dental issues. Teeth decay, overcrowding of teeth, maintaining their hygiene all these areas are generally looked into.
For adults, the focus is on keeping and maintaining healthy teeth. Going for regular consultations, being aware of problems areas with regard to oral health are some of the aspects that would be focused in the adult years.
Some of the main services that are provided in the area of Family Dentistry are described below.
Dental Consultations and General Scaling services
Dental consultations should generally be conducted at least twice a year. These consultations help to provide with an idea on how the oral health is and how well the teeth maintenance is progressing. Any imminent dental concern that needs to be observed can also be highlighted by the dentists in these consultations.
Cleaning teeth are recommended to prevent plaque build-up. This if unchecked can progress to tartar formation and later to gum diseases and tooth decay. Regular brushing and flossing help to prevent plaque build-up but sometimes it is beneficial to go for dental scaling.
As part of a dental consultation, dentists suggest dental X-rays. This helps them to obtain a clear picture of the teeth. X-rays can be taken for different purposes – to understand the structure of the jaws, to determine if there is overbite, to learn if there are cavities between teeth or to get a complete picture of the whole teeth. Depending on the need of the patient, the type of X- ray is decided.
X-rays do not cause any harm to the surrounding areas or tissues. Dentists take special care in ensuring that other body parts are protected during the process. Dental X-rays are generally known to have the lowest radiation generally. Some dental clinics have digital X-rays in their centres and this is has been known to be quite easy to use. It is also safe for children to have dental X-rays.
Sealants are plastic like material that is placed on the teeth that help to protect the teeth. They are usually placed on chewing areas of the teeth. It is safe to use for children as well as adults. For children it is highly recommended as it helps to save their teeth without any dental problems. Brushing and flossing do help to keep them clean, but sometimes children might not be so thorough in doing the cleaning, then applying sealants is beneficial for oral health.
A Prosthetic device that is placed over the teeth to prevent injury to the teeth is known as mouth guards. This helps to prevent injury to the teeth, lips, mouth, tongue etc. Sports injuries can be avoided by wearing mouth guards. Anyone who is involved in contact sports like basketball, wrestling, football will benefit from wearing these. There are different types available to suit one’s needs. This is one of the must haves for athletes be it children or adults. One can consult the dentist and decide on the type of mouth guard that can be used for better protection.
X-rays help to identify if there are any cavities developing in the teeth. Cavities need not be seen only in adults, even young children can have them. Children generally consume a lot of sugary food – be it drinks or food items – there is a lot of invisible and added sugar in them. Children consume this type of food during their main meal times and if this is not followed up by good cleaning, then cavities can result.
Adolescents and Adults are not immune to this either – unhealthy food habits, consuming too much of junk food all can contribute to cavity formation and also tooth decay. Generally for cavities, tooth fillings are generally suggested. The dentists will remove the infected portion of the teeth and then it is filled with material. There are different types of fillings that one can choose from.
Root Canal treatment
Another type of procedure that is performed as part of family dentistry is that of root canal treatment. When the teeth cannot be saved, the family dentist would suggest going for a root canal treatment. The pulp area which is affected is removed and the interior of the teeth is cleaned and sealed.
This treatment can be a bit painful and hence is conducted under anaesthesia. This procedure is recommended only when there are no chances of saving the teeth. It is better to conduct this treatment when suggested by the dentist, as delaying can result in affecting the neighbouring teeth as well.
Family Dentistry provides a complete and comprehensive dental care. This is a very useful and crucial part of dentistry as keeping track of the dental health of the family is possible through this branch of service. A single family’s dental needs can be ensured by this type of dental service. When there is continuity of treatment with a single dentist, then it is easy for monitoring purposes and also for getting good sustained treatment. Dental health of a person is not something to be ignored as it forms a major part of the overall health of a person. Family dentistry provides the venue for providing and taking care of the dental health of the whole family.