Teeth Cleaning & Dental Checkups
Why Get a Dental Check-up?
Dental check-ups give us the opportunity to evaluate your current methods of dental care and provide suggestions for future care in order to protect you from complications such as cavities and gum disease. They also allow us to detect problems early so they can be fixed quickly and easily.
What is a Professional Dental Cleaning?
At your check-up, you will receive a professional dental cleaning that is performed to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. This is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
The benefits include:
- Plaque and Calculus Removal – The bacterial plaque that accumulates on your teeth will harden over time and become what is known as calculus. Also referred to as “tartar,” this calculus consists of much of the same bacterial toxins that are contained within plaque. Plaque buildup and calculus can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper brushing and flossing routine, it may be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets. The dentist and hygienist use specialized dental equipment to remove potentially damaging buildup. Since everyone forms plaque and calculus, their removal during a professional dental cleaning is vital in order to prevent the occurrence of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- A Healthier Smile – Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in helping to rid the teeth of these unsightly stains.
- Fresher Breath – Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles and potential infection results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, bacteria, and calculus during a prophylaxis can noticeably improve halitosis.
Steps Involved During a Professional Dental Cleaning & Check-up
- Collecting dental and medical histories so that we have a clear picture of your current health, including any medical conditions that can impact dental treatment.
- Digital x-rays are taken as a diagnostic tool as part of your comprehensive check-up.
- Performing a complete periodontal screening at least once per year, which includes measuring the pocket depths between all the teeth and gums
- Removal of plaque and tartar using an ultrasonic scaler (cavitron) and precise hand instruments
- Polishing all the teeth, which helps remove staining
- Application of a topical fluoride gel or foam to protect against tooth sensitivity and decay
- Reviewing and reinforcing proper oral hygiene.
Recommended Cleaning Frequency
Professional dental cleanings are routinely performed in our office. We recommend that these cleanings be performed twice annually as a preventive measure, but periodontal maintenance cleanings should be completed every three to four months for those with a history of and/or treatment for periodontal disease (prior scaling and root planing).
Even if you have no history of scaling and root planing, we may still recommend that you have your teeth cleaned every three to four months due to increases in gum pocket depths or bleeding, or due to changes in your oral health or oral condition. Although periodontal disease cannot be completely reversed, it is important to remember that prophylaxis is one of the treatments our office performs to effectively halt its progression.