General Dentistry & Preventative Dentistry

Dental Design of Wheaton: Shri Chopra, DDS

Dentist located in Wheaton, MD

Dr. Shri Chopra and her staff at Dental Design of Wheaton pride themselves on providing quality care to patients in Wheaton, Maryland, and near other Montgomery County neighborhoods like Silver Spring, Kensington, Aspen Hill, and Glenmont. Dr. Chopra is more than a dentist, she’s a confidant, there to guide you through your oral health care journey every step of the way. Her goal is for you to feel confident with your smile -- in and out of her office. Whether you want to maintain your perfect smile or restore it back to good health, Dr. Chopra has the right treatment plan for you. For more information on Dr. Chopra and how she can assist with all your general and preventative dentistry needs, call her office or book online.

General Dentistry & Preventative Dentistry Q & A

Why are routine dental checkups important in general and preventative dentistry?

The key to success when it comes to overall oral health is preventative maintenance. It all really boils down to keeping tabs on the important things, like plaque build-up, checking your gums to ensure gingivitis isn’t in your future, and more. It’s all to prevent small nuisances from turning into big problems.

Without proper dental care and routine checkups, you can develop bleeding gums, a sign of gum disease. Like checking your car’s tire pressure or oil levels, or the way you may monitor your blood pressure, it’s vital to see your dentist every six months to make sure your teeth, gums, and everything else are in their healthiest condition. Some patients with a history of gum disease or gum bleeding may be recommended to receive cleanings every three months.

Dr. Chopra conducts a thorough review of your medical history along with a visual exam that includes a check of dental problems you’re aware of, as well as an assessment of your risk for future dental issues. For instance, she may notice new wearing of your teeth due to grinding at night (bruxism). Dr. Chopra also recommends dental X-rays to identify hidden cavities or other conditions that aren’t always visible on a visual examination.

Dr. Chopra’s exam also includes screening for oral cancer. She looks for abnormalities in the tissues of your mouth and tongue, including sores or lumps, and may examine the areas surrounding your jaw to check for symptoms of oral cancer.

Once your dental examination is complete, Dr. Chopra discusses your diagnosis and explores treatment options if necessary, such as a night guard to prevent further damage caused by bruxism. She may recommend sealants to protect your teeth or cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening.  

What is preventive dentistry?

Preventive dentistry can prevent minor tooth and gum issues from becoming worrisome oral health conditions. And because it’s well-known that poor oral health plays a significant role in heart disease, diabetes, and other serious medical concerns, preventive dentistry can also keep you healthier overall.

Some of the preventive measures Dr. Chopra recommends for her patients include:    

  • Professional dental cleaning
  • Thorough dental examination
  • Dental X-rays
  • Dental sealants
  • Evaluation for gum disease

Why are dental cleanings important?

It is recommended you visit Dr. Chopra for a cleaning every six months. The rationale is not only to check for cavities, but to check for any potential harm that could be on the horizon. For example, you may have no bleeding on your gums, but based on your personal brushing habits you could be on your way to the undesirable land of gingivitis and gum disease.

You can’t see it, but Dr. Chopra, upon your regular bi-annual visit, will be able to detect if bacteria in the form of tartar and plaque is building below the gum line. Twice a year is all it takes to keep you in the clear, so make it a point to visit your trusted general dentistry professional, Dr. Chopra, every six months.

What should I expect during a cleaning?

Cleanings are easier than they sound. With her trusty tiny mirror, Dr. Chopra will use what's called a scaler to get rid of all the tartar and plaque that's built up around your gum line and in-between your teeth. Advanced technology has made professional cleanings quicker and more comfortable with scalers that provide gentle vibrations to lift tartar and plaque off teeth without the old painful scraping techniques of the past. Brushing and flossing regularly are the keys to preventing buildup, which lead to gingivitis and other nasty mouth diseases. Dr. Chopra and her skilled hygiene team will give you home care education along with tips and tricks on maintaining and improving your hygiene at home between visits.

Why do I need an X-ray during a cleaning?

While Dr. Chopra has great vision, even she can't see everything that an X-ray machine can. That's why she may opt to perform an X-ray during your cleaning appointment, to thoroughly check for any traces of gum or tooth disease that are simply invisible to the naked eye. A thorough exam with X-rays is imperative at diagnosing problems and to help determine the type of professional cleaning that’s right for you.

Do I need a fluoride treatment?  

Fluoride is the magic ingredient in toothpaste that binds to the enamel of your teeth, strengthening them and making them more resistant to cavities. But sometimes the amount of fluoride found in toothpaste isn’t enough, so Dr. Chopra recommends a thorough fluoride treatment to prevent tooth decay.

You're considered at higher risk of tooth decay if you:

  • Practice poor hygiene (don't brush or floss as you should)
  • Currently have tooth decay
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Have a history of dry mouth
  • Have a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates

To help prevent tooth decay, especially for more at-risk patients, it’s recommended to have a fluoride treatment every 6 months (sometimes every 3 months, depending on the patient). The application takes only a few minutes and is painless.

What can I expect during a dental examination?

A comprehensive dental examination is the foundation of preventive dentistry. Dr. Chopra performs your dental exam, which varies depending on your individual needs. For instance, Dr. Chopra may spend more time looking for signs of gum disease in adults and focus more on tooth decay in children.

To schedule a general or preventative dental checkup or cleaning, call Dental Design of Wheaton or book an appointment online today.