Things that our patients want to know
Examinations and professional cleaning

Examinations and professional cleans are determined by the health status of individual patients. People who have a low risk to cavities, live a healthy life style and maintain excellent cleaning techniques only need to see a dental professional every 12 to 18 months.

Patients who have a high risk to decay, are prone to gum disease and do not live a healthy life style (smoking, poor oral hygiene) need to have professional cleanings every 4 to 6 months.

Under conditions where gums are inflamed and gum disease has been a problem, pathogenic bacteria re-grow within 4 months. This determines the time period for professional intervention.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.  

These include:

Medical history review: 
Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your over all health and also your dental health.

Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): 
Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.

Oral cancer screening: 
Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any sings of oral cancer.

Gum disease evaluation: 
Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.

Examination of tooth decay: 
All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.

Examination of existing restorations
Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Removal of calculus (tartar): 
Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

Removal of plaque: 
Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

Teeth polishing: 
Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.

Oral hygiene recommendations: 
Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).

Review dietary habits: 
Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.  We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

Keeping things in order will save you masses of time, frustration and money!

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?