To establish a good foundation for oral health, regular dental exams and cleanings are necessary. While the American Dental Association recommends having a dental exam and cleaning every six months, many of our patients have not been to a dentist in 10-30 years due to fear or severe dental anxiety. However, conquering this fear and the embarrassment of years of neglect is the first step to taking control of your oral health.
Our collective goal is to help you take that first step to overcoming your dental fears so that you can get the dental care you need and deserve. Regardless of how long it’s been since you visited a dentist, our staff will provide you with gentle, compassionate dental care during your appointment and cleaning.
Did You Know?
There are naturally-occuring bacteria that reside in the plaque and tartar found on your teeth. When there is too much bacteria, however, they can produce harmful acids that can cause tooth decay. Additionally, excess bacteria can also inflame the gums, leading to gum disease.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for dental exams & cleanings?
Yes! Everyone benefits from dental exams and cleanings, regardless of their current oral health. In fact, all of our patients are given a comprehensive dental examination at their first appointment so that our doctors can assess your teeth, gums, and bite.
What can I expect during a dental exam?
There are multiple parts of a routine dental examination, such as:
- Dental x-rays: performed every 6-12 months, dental x-rays can identify tooth decay, tumors, cyst, and bone loss. Dental x-rays also allow our dentists to determine tooth root locations.
- Oral cancer screening: the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, hard and soft palates, and gums will be screened for any signs or oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: your gums will carefully be evaluated for signs of gum disease including: redness, gum recession, or tenderness.
- Tooth decay evaluation: your teeth will carefully be evaluated for signs of tooth decay.
- Examination of existing restorations: any existing dental restorations will be examined to make sure they are functioning properly and are not in need of replacement.
What can I expect during a dental cleaning?
During a dental cleaning, our friendly dental hygienists will carefully remove plaque and tartar accumulations from the surface of your teeth. Dental plaque is a sticky, invisible film composed of bacteria, food debris, and saliva that forms on the teeth, while tartar is plaque that has hardened and is firmly attached to the tooth. Although plaque can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed with special dental tools. Both plaque and tartar increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Once our hygienists have carefully removed all the plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, they will gently massage the surface of your teeth to remove any other remnants from your teeth, then rinse your mouth. Finally, a fluoride polish will be delicately brushed over the surface of your teeth to strengthen the enamel and prevent future plaque accumulation.
Can dental sedation be used?
Yes! Dental sedation, also known as anxiety-free dentistry, is ideal for individuals who have dental anxiety, a sensitive gag reflex, or for those who simply want to relax during their dental procedure. Your dental sedation options include:
- Nitrous Oxide
- Oral & IV Sedation
- General Anesthesia
For more information about dental sedation, visit our dental sedation page or call our office to schedule a consultation.