Dental exams and cleanings are a very important step to your overall oral health. Besides your daily hygiene routine, creating an ongoing relationship with our dentist office allows us to see changes as they occur. We regularly track your levels of decay and strength of your gums, including if there are changes. The oral health of each patient varies, and we ask to see patients according to their level of need. At Boones Landing Dental Center, we ask to see most patients twice a year.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a common dental disorder in many adults. It is also the primary reason for tooth loss. Saving and protecting your teeth is always best. We can help provide you the information, guidance, and tools to be successful.
Dental Cleanings Steps
Dental cleanings include a few different steps. The first step will be to track and measure the health of your gum tissue. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common bacterial infection that many adults suffer from. As the infection rages, the development of gum pockets develops and deepen. Gum pocket depths of 3mm or less are considered within a healthy range, anything greater than 3mm may require a more involved cleaning process. If the patient is recurring, we can compare the measurements to prior visits, helping us have a larger picture of the patient’s oral health.
The next step is the cleaning of the teeth. We remove tartar and calculus from the surface of the teeth with a hand tool known as hand scaler. For many of our adult patients, we may choose to use an ultrasonic scaler; this will help in the debridement process, making it overall easier and less painful for the patient. The ultrasonic scaler uses a vibrating tip along with a directed stream of water to safely remove hardened bacteria.
Once the teeth are cleaned, we can then polish them, making them sparkling clean. Polishing is done with the use of a gritty toothpaste and a rotary brush. This will remove surface stains and help your teeth look cleaner and brighter.
Are dental cleanings painful?
We would hate to think that a patient is avoiding dental cleaning because they are fearful of potential pain. Many patients do not find cleanings to be painful, but if you do, we can help. Some patients request the numbing assistance of a local anesthetic before cleaning, especially if the patient requires a deep cleaning due to active periodontal disease. If additional assistance from a conscious sedative, including nitrous oxide, is needed, we have it available; we do not want our patients to be uncomfortable or in pain.
Dental Exam Steps
A dental exam is a painless procedure. Most of it is a visual examination performed with a simple probe. We will first exam digital x-rays, this helps us look for hidden problems that are otherwise unseen. Then, with the probe, we will look for potential problems in the teeth, gums and surrounding tissue. Part of this examination is an oral cancer screening. This step simply looks for tissue that is out of the ordinary, including lumps, bumps, changes to the coloring or changes to the texture of the soft tissue in and around your oral cavity.
Oral Cancer Screening Tools
Regular examinations by Dr. Boone are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin