Cleaning your teeth well at home is an important part of a successful oral hygiene routine. Combining regular brushing and flossing (or an oral irrigator) along with a routine visit to the dental office every 6 months will keep your smile healthy and will protect your teeth from cavities and gum disease. The dentist uses professional tools, such as the ultrasonic, to remove plaque, tartar, stains and bacteria build-up that accumulate over the six months period. Going to your dentist at twice a year will help ensure a beautiful healthy long lasting smile.
What is involved in a professional Dental Cleaning?
During a professional dental cleaning the dentist will use a variety of instruments to gently clean your gums and the surface of your teeth. The dentist will first use an ultrasonic; this machine vibrates to gently loosen and remove plaque, stains, and tartar from your teeth and gums. Afterwards, to make sure teeth are perfectly clean, the dentist will gently scrape to make sure any additional plaque and tartar is removed. Finally, the dentist will polish your teeth with a special kind of toothpaste that polishes and cleans your teeth. Then the dentist may floss your teeth to make sure their surface feel perfectly smooth and clean.
An oral exam is performed on both new and existing patients to determine their dental and health status. New patients receive a more comprehensive exam that includes x-rays and checks for gum and bone disease, systemic disorders and oral cancer. A more routine exam is done for existing patients to see if there have been any changes in health since their last visit. In order to look for gum disease, the gum tissue is measured with a small ruler to measure the pocket depth between the tooth and connective tissue. A measurement of over 4mm could indicate disease or infection. Gum disease can develop easier in deeper pockets due to the extent that plaque collects in these deep pockets. If the oral exam reveals the need for tooth scaling or root planing, these services are performed in lieu of or in addition to the routine cleaning.
Our office uses the latest in digital x-ray technology. Digital x-rays offer a detailed image of your entire mouth and also offer up to 80% less radiation than traditional film x-rays.
X-rays play an invaluable role in the diagnosis of dental problems, as well as provide a clear picture for a dentist to accurately diagnose and provide the necessary treatment.
We place a small sensor in your mouth. The sensor is connected to a computer by a thin wire. Next, an x-ray beam is sent through your teeth and into the sensor, which records the image of your teeth and sends it to the computer. The sensor can then be repositioned to image other sections of your teeth.
The digital dental x-ray system is more sensitive than dental x-ray film systems, so your exposure to x-rays is cut by as much as 90 percent. The large and color-enhanced images let you see what your dentist sees, so it’s easier for you to understand how your dentist will treat your teeth. Your dental checkups take less time, and it’s fun to watch this system work! Most patients are amazed.
Our office uses an intra-oral exam in order to allow the patient to see the what the doctor sees at the same time. This allows the patient to understand the issues the doctor is seeing and helps the doctor in discussing treatment plans.