Tooth decay remains issue for Boston residents

Tooth decay remains issue for Boston residents

Many Boston residents have experienced challenges when attempting to maintain their oral health.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Oral Health reports that the populations with the poorest oral hygiene are African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians. A 2009 report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that about 37 percent of Head Start children, a program developed to assist low incomes families, had children ages 3 to 5 who experienced tooth decay. And adults living in area without adequate access to dental services experienced tooth loss about one-third more often than those with access.

In an effort to improve the health of teeth and gums of individuals, the Better Oral Health For Massachusetts Coalition developed a plan in 2010 that emphasizes prevention of issues like decay.

There are several types of dental professionals in Beantown trained to give you the best care. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right one for you:

  • General dentist: These professionals can provide examination, cleanings and other basic services. 
  • Periodontist: They specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease They also assist in the placement of dental implants, taking into consideration the effects of condition, such as heart disease, diabetes or pregnancy. According to the National Institutes of Health up to 10 percent of all people are believed to have periodontal disease.. The risk is even higher in people with diabetes.
  • Orthodontist: These dental professionals specialize in straightening teeth, commonly with the use of braces and retainers.
  • Prosthodontist: This dentist restores appearance and function following tooth loss or injury through dentures, dental implants, veneers, crowns and teeth whitening necessary following injury.
  • Pediatric dentist: Found throughout Boston and its suburbs, these dental professionals specialize in the oral care of infants and children. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen as soon as their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.
  • Endodontist: This specialist deals with tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. They are most commonly known as the dental professionals who perform root canals.

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