Cleaning and Protection are part of preventive dental care. Cleaning and protection takes place in the dental office, and part of it takes place at home. The in-office procedures performed by your dental team need to be done on a routine basis. If your waiting till it hurts, you’re waiting too long. Many dental conditions don’t hurt in their initial stages. This is true of both gum disease and cavities.
Cleaning and Protection – Dental Exam
During your initial visit, your dentist will give you a comprehensive exam. The dentist and hygienist assigned to you will make sure to:
- Examine diagnostic x-rays. Necessary for finding decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. These x-rays are also used to diagnose developmental problems of teeth.
- Screen for oral cancer: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Check for gum disease: Examination of the gums and bone around the teeth to find any signs of periodontal disease.
- Check for tooth decay: Use of special dental instruments to test all tooth surfaces for decay.
- Examine existing dental work: Check current fillings, crowns, and other restorations
Preventive Dental Care – Professional Dental Cleaning
One of our Registered Dental Hygienists will perform a professional dental cleaning (dental prophylaxis) during your exam. That will be followed by a doctor’s exam if you need one. The cleaning will involve:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus comes from plaque buildup that has hardened around the tooth. It forms both above and below the gum line. They hygienist uses special dental instruments to remove it from around the teeth. A toothbrush alone can’t remove this tartar.
- Removal of plaque: A sticky, almost invisible film, plaque is actually made up of living bacteria, food debris and saliva. When it forms on the teeth, the bacteria produce poisons that infect the gums, causing them to inflame. This inflammation is one of the first signs of periodontal disease. If you have lots of plaque or tartar building up, causing inflamed gums, your gums can pull away from your teeth making them loose and causing bad breath.
- Teeth polishing: Through teeth polishing, your hygienist can remove stains and plaque that did not come off during the rest of the cleaning.
Learn more about preventive dental care from our dentists – Contact your Salem dentist at Oak Park Family Dental.