Dental Cleanings & Exams
Professional cleaning is essential to promote the health of gums and teeth. Your mouth has a large number of harmful bacteria and food debris that encourage the formation and buildup of plaque and tartar. The bacteria along with plaque can contribute to gum disease. Although regular at-home teeth cleanings remove soft plaque and bacteria, they may not eradicate the stickier tartar that hardens and forms on the teeth. For this reason, professional teeth cleaning works to remove that stubborn tartar together with any remaining plaque, particularly in areas such as the pockets and between the teeth. Our team at Higbee Family Dentistry performs dental cleanings safely using the latest dental technology and in a professional manner.
Teeth Cleaning Procedure
You should expect to spend about 30 to 60 minutes during a dental cleaning procedure. Dr. Higbee will check your gums to see if there is any inflammation, gum disease, or other concerns. Examining the mouth will help determine the main concerns and what the dentist should focus on during the cleaning process. If there are serious issues, for instance, swollen gums or dark spots, further examination will be done before starting the cleaning. During dental cleanings, the dentist will screen you for oral cancer.
The cleaning starts with a process known as scaling, whereby the dentist uses a tool known as a scaler to remove plaque. The dentist works on the surface of the teeth, areas between the teeth, as well as the parts near the gum line. After removing plaque, our dentist does polishing and flossing. Using a prophylaxis paste and a tool with a rubber prophy cup, the dentist removes stains and smoothens the teeth to eradicate rough areas that tend to harbor bacteria and plaque.
Finally, the dentist flosses the teeth to further remove any plaque or paste that remains unremoved. A fluoride treatment is performed to prevent cavities and make the teeth stronger before making another follow-up visit to our office for checkups. During the fluoride treatment, the dentist will put a gel in a mouthpiece where you wear it for about a minute.
Importance of Dental Cleaning
Besides keeping your smile bright, dental cleaning offers other benefits. The oral examination conducted during the cleaning process helps to see if any causal conditions may be present. An x-ray is done to detect oral issues that could not be detected visually. An x-ray can tell if there is an infection in the root or under the gums. It also tells if there are problems with the bone.
Dental cleaning gets rid of stubborn stains and gum disease. We want to ensure you have the best periodontal care. Regular dental cleanings help prevent bad breath or even tooth loss. Our dental team recommends that you have dental cleaning two times a year. Dental cleaning is a vital preventive treatment that not only promotes your oral health but also your overall health.
Regular dental exams are crucial for your dental health. Without proper oral health, your physical and dental health are at risk. Dental exams are part of preventive dentistry and often focus on preventing or avoiding oral health issues. Our dental team at Higbee Family Dentistry does routine checkups in addition to cleanings, to keep your bite healthy.
What to Expect in a Dental Exam Visit
When you come to our office, our dentist will examine your neck, jaw, face, and lymph nodes. Besides, the dentist looks at the gums to see if there is an infection. X-rays of the mouth are done to see if you have signs of oral cancer and other dental issues such as infection in the root canal, invisible cavities, and deteriorating bone or hidden gum infection. The dentist checks the gum pockets as they can indicate a sign of gum disease. Other issues that the dentist checks are bad breath and periodontitis.
Besides the visual examinations and imaging, the dentist will clean the teeth to take away plaque and bacteria. Dental cleaning will help prevent or put off tooth decay. Oral cancer screening is also done during a dental exam appointment. Early detection of oral cancer allows you to start treatment earlier, which means that there is an increased chance of fighting off the disease.
Benefits of Dental Exams
The obvious benefit of receiving dental exams is to identify dental issues before they worsen. Exams help minimize oral infection and keep plaque under control. This way, it reduces your odds of having gum disease and tooth decay, which could lead to the loss of teeth. Loss of teeth leads to the need for restorative dentistry and tooth replacement options.
Sometimes, it is not easy to detect plaque build-up underneath the gum line. A dentist, through regular exams, is able to spot invisible plaque that has formed under the gum line. The dentist will fix the problem by performing a procedure called scaling. Using a special tool called a scaler the dentist cleans the teeth, thereby eradicating plaque. Additionally, dental cleaning helps remove stains forming on the teeth, allowing you to have fresh, bright-looking teeth and healthy gums.
Since the presence of oral infection is likely to cause serious health problems in the body, a dental exam ensures that you protect yourself from these conditions. Some of the conditions that you may develop when you have gum disease are diabetes, oral cancer, heart disease, yeast infection of the mouth, and lung problems.
The dental specialist offers tips on the way to take care of your mouth at home. You will learn how to brush and floss the right way. The dentist will check whether you have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) so that you can get appropriate treatment depending on your symptoms.
Visit us at Higbee Family Dentistry for a dental cleaning and exam if you have not had one recently. Typically, dental cleanings and exams should be undertaken every six months or even more frequently based on your oral health. Call us at (541) 342-1187 to book an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!