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What to Expect During a Dental Exam

Your hygienist will thoroughly examine your mouth and determine if there are any issues with your teeth or gums. They’ll also examine your neck and head and perform an oral cancer screening. X-rays can also help detect if there are any issues to worry about, such as bone loss, abscesses, cysts, or other issues affecting your gums or teeth. If any issues are detected, your hygienist will let the doctor know so they can create a treatment plan.

After the exam, you’ll have your teeth thoroughly cleaned and polished. Your hygienist may recommend fluoride treatment if you’re more susceptible to cavities. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth and combat decay. You’ll also receive preventative tips tailored to your needs such as brushing and flossing your teeth after eating, using a certain type of toothbrush or special toothpaste, quitting smoking (if you are a smoker), and limiting certain types of food or drink that may affect your oral health.

Types of Dental Cleanings

Regular/Preventative Cleaning

A regular/preventative cleaning involves your hygienist eliminating stains, tartar, and plaque from your teeth using special tools and polishing them so they are smooth and sparkly. During a regular tooth cleaning, your hygienist will primarily focus on your teeth and above the gum line.

For patients with gum health issues, your dentist may recommend frequent visits (more than twice a year) for teeth cleaning.

Deep Cleaning/Therapeutic Cleaning

Deep/therapeutic cleanings are recommended for patients who have gum disease, specifically periodontitis. To keep you comfortable during the procedure, this is done under local anesthetic. During a deep cleaning, your dentist will remove built-up tartar below your gums, down into your tooth's root. When left untreated, built-up tartar in the pockets between your teeth and gums can lead to tooth loss or infection.

Full Mouth Debridement

Full mouth debridement eliminates hard tartar and plaque from your teeth and gums. Your hygienist will recommend this teeth cleaning procedure if a regular cleaning isn't sufficient and additional cleaning is needed.

Benefits of a Professional Teeth Cleaning & Checkup

  • To detect possible health risks such as oral cancer and gum disease
  • To prevent cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and decay
  • To maintain good physical health
  • To eliminate bad breath
  • To have a brighter, whiter, and more polished smile
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