Dental cleanings and consultations are the foundation of preventative dentistry. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends visiting your Lakewood Ranch dental office at least once every six months for a cleaning and consultation. These visits allow your dentist to evaluate your oral health and provide you with preventative treatments that reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Did You Know?
The vast majority of dental services are preventative. Although dentists sometimes have a bad reputation, one of the most common reasons to visit the dentist is to have a teeth cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a dental cleaning and consultation?
Yes, everyone regardless of age or current dental health is a candidate for dental cleanings and consultations. In fact, regular cleanings and consultations can either maintain or improve your oral health. How long has it been since your last dental cleaning? If it’s been longer than six months, then schedule a consultation with 3-D Dentistry today.
What can I expect during a dental consultation?
During a dental consultation, you can first expect to have dental x-rays taken. This generally takes about 10-15 minutes, since there are various angles and positions of your mouth captured. For some of the images, you may be asked to hold your head in a certain position or bite down on certain things.
Once your dental x-rays are complete, your general dentist will evaluate them with you. Dental x-rays can show various things such as cavities, impacted wisdom teeth, and the condition of your jaw bone to name a few. In most cases, dental x-rays are used to ensure your bones are in good condition, however they can also be used to diagnose dental conditions or for treatment planning purposes.
Another thing you can expect during a dental consultation is an exam of your teeth, gums, and bite. Your dentist may use a special tool called an explorer probe to gently touch each tooth to check them for signs of decay or damage. They will also use a dental mirror and light for better visualization. Next, your gums will be evaluated for signs of gum disease, as your gum pockets may even be measured to check for gum recession. Finally, the alignment and function of your bite will be checked to ensure your jaw joint is functioning properly.
What can I expect during a dental cleaning?
During a dental cleaning, you can expect to have all the plaque and tartar removed from the surface of your teeth. Plaque is a mix of bacteria and food debris that accumulates as a film over your teeth, while tartar is plaque that has hardened in place. While plaque can be removed with proper brushing and flossing techniques, tartar can only be removed during a dental cleaning.
In order to remove both plaque and tartar, your dental hygienist will use a special tool called a dental scaler. There are two main types of scalers: one is a metal tool and the other uses a water stream to loosen and remove plaque and tartar. This tool will be used on the entire front and back surface of each tooth. In some cases, it may also be used to remove plaque from the gum pockets as well.
The next step is to brush the teeth with a gritty toothpaste, floss them, and rinse them as a way of removing the loosened debris from the surface of the teeth. Once the surface of the teeth is completely clean and smooth, a fluoride polish will be brushed over each tooth. Fluoride promotes enamel strength, while also making it harder for plaque to accumulate on the teeth.