Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Dental Exams and Cleaning
Dental exams and cleanings are an often neglected aspect of dental care. Many patients assume that because they are regularly brushing and flossing at home, that no additional cleaning is ever necessary. And they may also feel that they would be able to themselves detect any problems with their oral health.
In reality, brushing and flossing may not be enough to prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth and around your gums. A dental cleaning conducted by your dental hygienist ensures that plaque is removed before it hardens into tartar. Your hygienist also has the necessary tools to remove any tartar that they may find.
Your dental team has the training and experience to look for signs of oral health problems that may not be evident to you as a layperson. Keeping up with your regular dental exams helps to ensure that you have professional backup if you may have missed something.
Dental Exams: What To Expect
- Medical history review. If this is your first time visiting us, or if it has been a while since your last visit, we may ask you some questions about your current medical status to ensure that we have the latest information about your health. Inform us of any changes in your medical condition.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is a serious disease that is rare but extremely treatable when detected early. Our dental team routinely screens for signs of oral cancer.
- Periodontal evaluation. Before each dental cleaning, we will be looking for signs of periodontal disease by checking the depth of gum pockets and looking for signs of bleeding or bone loss.
- Occlusion examination. Teeth can shift over time, affecting your bite and how you chew. If this shifting is significant, leading to problems with your bite, you may be referred to an orthodontist for treatment.
Dental Cleaning: What To Expect
Practicing early prevention techniques, along with education, is the best way to address oral health problems. Our dental practice is dedicated to providing outstanding patient education by informing you how to enhance your oral hygiene practices, highlighting areas that need more focus, and by addressing any concerns that you may have.
A dental cleaning typically takes around half an hour to complete, assuming there are no special issues that need to be addressed. Your cleaning will take place while you are comfortable in a dental chair. At this time, our dental hygienist will provide a variety of services that help your teeth and gums look and function as they should.
Here are a few common elements of a dental cleaning:
Plaque and tartar removal. Even if you are regularly brushing and flossing at home, you can miss some areas that eventually experience a buildup of plaque and tartar. Tartar is only removable using professional dental instruments.
Teeth polishing. This ensures that your teeth are shiny and smooth after a polishing treatment using a special handpiece.
If you have been putting off your dental exams and cleaning appointments, we strongly encourage you to contact our office today to get back on track with these vital dental visits.