Routine dental care helps you to avoid a variety of dental issues like tooth decay, and it helps to maintain an attractive smile. Taking good care of teeth starts with consistent oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and biannual visits to the dentist can save you thousands of dollars over a lifetime.To develop…
What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning With a Family Dentist
A dental cleaning is a service that almost all family dentists offer that seeks to prevent oral health concerns from developing and improve the overall oral health of the patient. It is a non-invasive procedure that does not take long to complete, and it can help prevent the need for more invasive and expensive procedures down the road.
The dental cleaning process
The dental cleaning process may look different for every family dentist and each of their patients, but there is a typical process that one can expect before walking into the scheduled visit. The more common process for dental cleaning from a family dentist involves an oral health examination, removal of plaque and tartar, teeth polishing and checking for signs of periodontal disease.
Oral health examination
An oral health examination is a way for a family dentist to determine if there are any noticeable concerns with the patient’s oral health. Some concerns can be detected simply by observation, such as cavities, loose teeth, chips and cracks. However, some issues may require a dental X-ray, such as bone loss and gum pockets that are too deep. The oral health examination helps the family dentist determine their process for the dental cleaning, as well as, any additional treatments the patient may require such as fluoride application for weakened enamel.
Plaque and tartar removal
Plaque can be removed through routine oral care each day, although a family dentist can further ensure all areas of teeth are cleaned and plaque-free during a dental cleaning. A bigger concern occurs when plaque hardens. This hardened plaque is referred to as tartar (also called calculus). Tartar is much harder to remove at home, and it typically requires a teeth cleaning from a family dentist to remove. Removing both plaque and tartar is the primary goal of a family dentist during a dental cleaning.
Teeth cleaning and polishing
Over time teeth can become rough and take on more of a yellowish shade due to plaque and tartar. A family dentist may also polish the patient’s teeth after removing plaque and tartar to make them smooth, clean and bright. Teeth polishing is carefully done by hand, and it is non-invasive. Additionally, it leaves the teeth looking and feeling great.
Check for signs of gum disease
A dental cleaning is about more than making teeth healthier and looking great. The family dentist will also examine the patient’s periodontal health. During the oral examination and dental X-rays, the dentist will check for signs of gum disease such as swollen gums, tender gums or gum recession. If gum disease is more severe and puts the long-term health of the teeth in jeopardy, then the dentist may recommend a deep dental cleaning, also called scaling and root planing. This procedure can clean the gum pockets and further down each tooth towards the root.
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