What does preventive dentistry mean?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Preventive dentistry is the general term for dental care-related procedures or treatments that are meant to prevent oral health problems from rearing their ugly heads. A great example of a preventive dentistry procedure is sealants. A sealant is a layer of a protective, long-lasting special plastic. Your dentist can quickly and easily place this layer on your back teeth to prevent decay. These teeth are the ones that are most likely to decay, which is why they are targeted.

So ask your dentist to explain which procedures and treatments will best prevent problems, and check in with your benefits provider to find out which of these procedures are covered by your plan.
Dental disease is almost entirely preventable and oral health is just as important as the health of the rest of your body. Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve, and tooth loss. Infection from tooth disease can even spread to other parts of the body and in rare cases, can lead to death.

You can practice preventive dentistry on yourself by adopting these healthy habits: Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss between teeth once a day, and eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. This will help ensure a beautiful smile for a lifetime.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.