Cleaning & Prevention
Regular dental preventive care is a great way to avoid serious dental problems, or detect small problems while they’re easy and inexpensive to treat. Visiting Parkview to get your teeth cleaned every six months is one of the best things you can do to maintain a beautiful smile (in addition to daily brushing and flossing, of course). Not only will we polish up your pearly whites to a shiny gleam, but we can make sure there aren’t any hidden problems, and help ward off problems down the road. That’s why we offer oral cancer screening and fluoride therapy as well. Read on to learn more.
How Often Should You Get a Dental Exam?
Dental exams should generally take place every six months. However, consult with our team to decide how often you should be examined, for we may suggest that you visit more frequently based on factors such as smoking, frequency of cavities and genetic susceptibility to tooth and root decay as well as gum disease.
Dental exams give us the opportunity to evaluate your current methods of dental care and provide suggestions for future care in order to protect you from complications such as cavities and gum disease. They also allow us to detect problems early so they can be fixed quickly and easily. A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Vasani at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, she and your hygienist will include the following:
X-ray examination for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
Examination of crowns and fillings
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
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Preventing gum disease and cavities starts with regular dental hygiene visits, where disease-causing bacteria (in the form of plaque and tartar) is removed from your teeth. Our number one goal is disease prevention to keep your smile healthy and looking great!
However, if gum disease has already taken hold and caused periodontitis, we’ve got you covered. Not only do we offer preventive cleaning services, but therapeutic care as well – called scaling and root planing. This gently removes disease-causing bacteria below the gumline, on the root surfaces of your teeth, which improves or resolves gum inflammation and controls the bone loss around affected teeth that is characteristic of periodontitis. Along with regular periodontal maintenance care (and great brushing and flossing at home), treating periodontal disease means you keep the teeth you have by staying on top of this chronic disease.
Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
Removing Tartar or Scaling: This procedure is carried out with a tool called a scaler. In cases where there are only a few small spots of hard calculus, your hygienist may use a manual scaler to remove tartar deposits from the teeth by gently scraping them. Tartar can also be removed with an ultrasonic scaler, which is an electronic device that uses a gentle vibration and a steady stream of water to break up larger pieces of tartar and wash away the particles.
Polishing: This step involves using a handheld tool with a spinning rubber head that polishes all tooth surfaces using a slightly abrasive paste. Polishing helps remove minor stains on the enamel and gives teeth a smooth surface that is less likely to attract plaque and oral bacteria.
Fluoride: In most cases, your hygienist will recommend a fluoride treatment after each cleaning. Applied as a rinse, gel, foam or a varnish, fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel, which is the outermost layer of the teeth, helping it resist the acid attack that can lead to tooth decay.
Thorough Dental Examination & Cleaning
A teeth cleaning is a preventative dental treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Regularly scheduled teeth cleanings are an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
The benefits of professional teeth cleaning include:
Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. A cleaning (prophylaxis) is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and gum inflammation, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
Professional dental cleaning can be performed at our office. We recommend that patients schedule a cleaning twice annually as a preventative measure.
Oral Cancer Screening
Your dentist is the best and most logical health provider to check for lumps, bumps, and spots that shouldn’t be there in your mouth — it might just save your life! This important service is something we provide to all our patients as a part of your regular exams with the doctor.
We believe in early detection for early treatment and best outcomes. If your dentist doesn’t check, who will?
Acids — produced by bacteria in your mouth and from your foods and drinks — leach important minerals from the enamel on your teeth, weakening them and leading to cavities over time. Fluoride (in the water you drink, some foods, toothpaste, and in professional fluoride treatments) counteracts that mineral loss and actually strengthens your teeth.
At Parkview, our fluoride treatment of choice is fluoride varnish — it is painted on teeth quickly, where it is readily absorbed, stays in place (so you don’t swallow much of it), and really gives you the best fluoride bang for your buck. Fluoride isn’t just for kids! If you are an adult who has a dry mouth, takes multiple medications daily, has had a lot of dental work in the past, or is prone to cavities, fluoride treatments may help you protect your teeth.