About General Dentistry
What Is Dental Cleaning and Prevention?
Our ultimate goal is to secure the safety, health, and beauty of your teeth for a lifetime so you can always smile with confidence. The very best way to achieve this is through an individually tailored prevention program designed through the cooperative effort of the patient, the dentist, and our dental staff.
With the practice of good oral hygiene at home combined with a balanced diet and regular dental visits, we can effectively preserve the natural dentition of your teeth and their supporting structures for years to come. This is the very best way to minimize or eliminate the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions that can result in serious and costly dental problems. Let us help you maintain a healthy, confident, and beautiful smile.
Professional dental cleanings, known as dental prophylaxis, are performed by registered dental hygienists. During the cleaning, the hygienist will remove tartar and plaque, and then polish the teeth to remove any remaining stains. The proper removal of both tartar and plaque is essential to dental health and requires the specialized tools and training that dental hygienists provide.
Tartar, professionally known as calculus, is hardened plaque that sets firmly to tooth surfaces both above and below the gum line. Left in place, it causes serious damage to dental health. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth. Almost invisible to the naked eye, this growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva produces toxins that inflame the gums, initiating the beginning stages of periodontal disease. With both of these forming on your teeth all the time, professional dental cleanings are an essential element of dental disease prevention.
What are the most common screenings for general dental health?
Following your dental cleaning, the hygienist and the dentist will go through a series of general diagnostic screenings for a variety of common dental problems:
- Tooth Decay: All tooth surfaces are checked for weaknesses and decay with special dental instruments.
- Oral Cancer Screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum Disease Evaluation: The gums and bones around the teeth will be checked for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of Existing Restorations: Any fillings, crowns, or other existing restorations will be checked for problems or concerns, ensuring that they remain fully functional.
Who should consider dental cleaning and prevention?
Everyone should consider having dental cleaning and preventative work on a regular basis. Good dental hygiene and detection of any problems early on can help you avoid more serious issues later, such as gum disease or tooth decay. This does not mean that you should not continue to take care of your teeth at home. As well as cleaning your teeth carefully you should always watch out for any signs of inflammation of the gums, damage to the teeth or possible oral disease.
On your first visit, the dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam to assess the current condition of your teeth and their supporting dental structures. You will then be asked to return for regular check-up exams to help implement and maintain your individualized dental health plan. Regular check-up exams cover three primary areas:
- Professional Dental Cleanings.
- Screenings for General Dental Health
- Periodic X-Rays & Regular Diagnostic Evaluations of X-Rays