Regular dental examinations are important to help spot oral health problems early when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. Exams may also help prevent many oral problems from developing in the first place. Keeping your mouth healthy is an essential piece of your overall health.
Dental Cleaning (Prophylaxis)
Even when you brush and floss every day, some plaque remains on your teeth. This can harden and become calculus (tartar). Calculus can be removed effectively only with a professional cleaning. We use a variety of hand and ultrasonic instruments to remove the plaque, calculus, and stain from your teeth. An important part of your dental cleaning is a review of your home care routine. With regular dental cleanings we can help you maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile.
Scaling and Root Planing – Periodontal Cleaning
Scaling and root planing is a specialized treatment used in moderate to advanced stages of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a low grade chronic infection caused by bacteria in the mouth. Symptoms may include: red, swollen, or tender gums; gums that bleed while brushing or flossing; loose or separating teeth; or persistent bad breath. Evidence suggests the bacteria from periodontal disease may be linked to heart disease, artery blockage, or stroke. It also may make it more difficult for patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar. Thirty to fifty percent of adults have mild to moderate periodontal disease. Five to fifteen percent have severe periodontal disease.
Left untreated, periodontal disease may lead to gum infections and bone loss around the teeth, which could result in loose or lost teeth. Our team of dental hygienists is trained and skilled at detecting and treating periodontal disease. When necessary, they will work with our local periodontists (gum disease specialists) to achieve the optimum results.
Fluoride has many benefits for people of all ages. It incorporates into the structure of the tooth, making the enamel surface stronger and more resistant to decay. Fluoride helps prevent decay on tooth roots and may minimize root sensitivity. We recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste for all our patients. We may also recommend additional sources of fluoride to use at home, such as: drops, tablets, rinses, gels, and high concentration fluoride toothpaste. We apply fluoride foam or varnish in our office when appropriate. Fluoride varnish has been clinically proven to be the most effective topical form of fluoride for the prevention of decay, hardening of enamel, and reduction of tooth sensitivity. Fluoride is an important part of preventive dentistry because it decreases dental decay by over sixty percent.
A sealant is a barrier that protects tooth enamel from plaque and acids and decreases the risk of decay. It is a plastic-like material applied to the chewing surface of the molars and premolars. The material bonds to the depressions and grooves in the teeth.
Dental radiographs (x-rays) may be necessary as part of your exam. Dental radiographs can help to assess tooth decay and periodontal disease. In children, radiographs are also used to evaluate growth and development of the mouth.