Cleaning & Examinations

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will perform the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.

  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.

  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.

  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.

  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet.  It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.

Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth. Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.

Regular Cleaning & Deep Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (regular cleaning) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

 

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

 

 

What is Deep Cleaning (Scaling & Root Planing)

 

If you notice your gums bleeding a bit while brushing your teeth or eating, what you are seeing is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by bacterial bio-films called plaque that adhere to tooth surfaces and is the most common form of periodontal disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, the inflammation will work its way down the tooth causing a “periodontal pocket” and bacteria will have the ability to thrive. If during your normal teeth cleaning not all plaque can be removed, it may be recommended that a deeper cleaning or scaling be performed.

 

deep cleaning x-rays
Dental cleaning- Calcus

What is a Debridement?

A debridement is needed when there is moderate to heavy amount of build-up on the teeth which can not be completely removed in routine cleaning appointment time. If you have a debridement done, this normally implies that there is more cleaning to be done on the teeth or tooth roots. During a debridement, your hygienist will remove deposits which can be done comfortably at and just below the gum line.

A fine scale is done following a debridement, or Scaling and Root planing procedure, to be sure all fine calculus is removed. This is performed to promote healing after these procedures.

The maintenance cleaning should be every 3–6 month which is determined at the last cleaning. At this appointment the periodontal pockets depths will be re-evaluated to determine if the scaling and root planing as well as patient’s home care has been effective. If it is determined that additional treatment is needed it will be discussed, otherwise a routine cleaning will be performed.

We sincerely want you to love your smile!