Prevention and early detection are the key to avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. A good home regimen, in addition to regular cleanings and exams, can prevent many dental treatments. Our hygienists are available to assist you with your hygiene and management of your gums.
As damaging as plaque can be, it is easily removed by mechanical brushing. Plaque deposits build up on the teeth fairly quickly after eating and drinking, and if they are not crushed away they can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed, it hardens and becomes calculus (tartar) and cannot be removed with regular brushing. We have special instruments designed to remove tartar.
Professional dental cleanings 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 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.
Regular dental cleanings, performed by a registered dental hygienist, are a crucial part of preventive dental care. Br removing plaque and tartar, your oral health is enhanced and your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease are reduced. Your dental hygienist will remove moderate plaque and tartar buildup, or an ultrasonic device to scale away heavier buildup. The cleaning is finished with polishing, a pleasant procedure that cleans the surface of teeth, removes stains, and leaves the mouth feeling clean and refreshed. Learn more about our cleanings – click here.
In order to provide our patients with the highest quality of dental services, we use dental radiographs, or X-rays, in our office. These radiographs provide us with invaluable information about your oral and dental health.
Periodontal simply means “the tissue around the teeth.” Periodontists specialize in the treatment and surgery of this area, which is often characterized by gum disease. Plaque is the most common element causing gum disease. Unfortunately, periodontal-related problems are often discovered after they have persisted for an extended period of time. Proper oral hygiene, daily dental care and regular dental check-ups will minimize the risk of gum disease. Gum disease ranges from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis). Through proper preventive care and oral hygiene, you can avoid problems associated with gum disease.
The incidence of tooth decay has significantly diminished over the years due to the use of fluorides and an increase in patient awareness.
No matter how diligent you are in your home dental care regimen, you should still get a dental exam and cleaning at least twice per year. The importance of regular dental exams cannot be overemphasized – dental exams are the cornerstone of good dental health. In particular, regular checkups are essential for early detection of more serious problems. Early detection makes treatment easier, less expensive, and more successful and effective.
During your dental exam, our dentist will perform the following routine checks:
- Examine and assess gum health; check for gum disease
- Diagnose any existing tooth decay
- When indicated, take and analyze x-rays, which may reveal decay, bone loss, abscesses, tumors, cysts, and other problems
- Screen for the presence of oral cancer
- Verify the stability of any existing fillings or others restorations
- Inform you of all findings and make treatment recommendations
Flossing + Mouth Rinses
Daily flossing is an effective way to clean teeth where regular brushing can’t reach. To floss properly, take 18″ of dental floss, wrap it around the middle finger of each hand, and pinch it between your thumb and index finger. Pull the floss taut, then slide it gently between each tooth and under the gum line. Slide the floss up and down the side of each tooth to remove plaque buildup. Also, over-the-counter mouth rinses can help to fight bad breath, remove loose food particles after brushing, and freshen the mouth. However, mouth rinses are never a substitute for brushing, flossing, or regular dental examinations, and may disguise warnings signs of periodontal disease.
A beautiful smile begins with a strong foundation of healthy gums. Early detection and treatment of periodontal disease can help most people to preserve their teeth for a lifetime. We offer a comprehensive periodontal disease prevention and treatment program because a solid foundation of healthy gums is essential to protect your investment in enhancements such as crowns, bridges, partials, veneers, and professional whitening. Learn more about periodontal disease.