Personalized Prevention—the CAMBRA Advantage
You know that regular dental checkups will help prevent dental problems, but did you know that they are part of your overall health as well? Healthy teeth and gums can reduce your risk for heart attacks, strokes, premature birth, and even dementia. At Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis, we go above and beyond when it comes to preventive dentistry.
During your first visit, and periodically from then on, we do a comprehensive exam that includes examining each tooth with an intra-oral camera, oral cancer screening, digital imaging, and hygiene. Dr. Flavin applies the Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) method to help determine each patient’s risk. Read more on our blog about CAMBRA.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a serious concern that is gaining more attention because of the additional risk factor of the human papillomavirus (HPV). If cancer screening isn’t performed on a regular basis, then oral cancer usually isn’t detected until it’s in a late stage and much more difficult to treat.
We use a VELscope for oral cancer screens, a blue-spectrum light that causes all the cells in your mouth to fluoresce in a distinctive pattern. Any abnormalities will break up the pattern of healthy cells, and are easily seen with the VELscope.
If we notice anything unusual, we’ll take a sample using an OralCDX Brush Test® to remove the cells for examination at a specialty laboratory. Read more on our blog about oral cancer.
Instead of traditional X-rays that are developed on film, we now use digital imaging technology that renders your X-rays in much more detail than was possible before. And with no films to dispose, digital X-rays are an environmentally advanced technology as well.
There’s no need to avoid checkups and cleaning because you don’t like the hand scraping and planing to remove dental plaque. At Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis, we use Cavitron ultrasonic wave technology to remove plaque much more effectively. The small planing wand sends out ultrasonic vibrations that, combined with water, remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gum line.
For gum disease in its early stages, Dr. Flavin will use the CAMBRA method to determine what treatments will be the most effective for you. If gum disease has advanced to a more serious stage, he will refer to a periodontal specialist.
Fluoride is an essential part of preventing cavities. We apply a fluoride varnish for adults as needed, and at every visit for children.
We fit our patients with a Snore Guard mouthpiece to wear at night to prevent snoring. For patients who grind their teeth at night (bruxism), we’ll fit them with nightguards to keep their upper and lower jaws separated while sleeping.
Dr. Flavin applies the Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) method to help determine what factors might cause you to develop cavities, and create treatment strategies to help prevent them. These might involve fluoride sealants, antimicrobial rinses, dietary changes, and more. The goal is to minimize your risk of cavities and to treat them with the least invasive therapies possible if they do occur. Learn more about CAMBRA on our blog page.