General Dentistry Preventive Procedures to Improve Your Oral Health

General Dentistry Houston, TX

While much of the work done in general dentistry involves treating oral diseases, a lot of effort also goes into initial prevention. Regular cleanings and examinations go a long way toward preventing dental issues and avoiding escalation into more serious oral health problems. In addition, there are other, more specific dental procedures performed for preventive purposes.

What preventive procedures are available?

Some preventive procedures are performed routinely as part of a regular general dentistry examination. Others are only performed under certain circumstances, upon the patient's request or the dentist's recommendation.

Fluoride treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. If there is decay present in its earliest stages, fluoride treatments can help to reverse it or at least slow it down. Most patients receive fluoride treatments twice a year, though some require it more often. Fluoride is painted onto the teeth as a varnish or administered as a gel or foam in a tray onto which the patient bites down. Depending on the administration route, fluoride has to remain on the teeth for a few minutes to a few hours to have the full effect.

Dental sealants

A sealant is a plastic coating applied to a tooth to prevent decay. It forms a protective barrier that prevents the sugars and acids that cause decay from reaching its surface. It can also help to prevent decay that is already present from forming a larger cavity. Sealants are often applied to the back teeth that are the most difficult to clean and are most effective when performed on children. These seals do not last forever and need to be reapplied every few years to maintain full protection.

Scaling and root planing

Sometimes routine dental cleaning is not enough to keep the mouth healthy. Bacteria can collect in pockets below the gumline and potentially cause periodontal disease. Scaling and root planing is a more advanced cleaning technique that goes below the gum line to remove those pockets of bacterial growth. If any recession has occurred due to periodontal disease, scaling and root planing can provide a cleaner, healthier surface for the gums to reattach.

Dental bonding

If a tooth is damaged or weak, dental bonding is a technique that can strengthen it to prevent further harm. Bonding involves applying a composite resin to the area of the tooth that is weak or damaged. The resin adheres with the tooth and becomes bonded permanently to it when cured with a blue light or laser. Bonding requires no drilling and can be performed within 30 to 60 minutes for one tooth. There is no change in the appearance of the tooth because the resin is matched to its color.


Plaque buildup and tooth decay can cause serious dental problems even despite the oral hygiene efforts of a patient. Preventive procedures performed in general dentistry can help prevent or slow down periodontal disease or other oral health disorders.

Request an appointment here: or call Lasting Impressions Dental Group at (832) 784-8212 for an appointment in our Houston office.

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