Cleaning and Prevention
Dentistry is founded on the principle of prevention. Patients are recommended regular cleanings and examinations. Not only do they help you quash dental problems before they arise, they leave your gums healthier, and your teeth cleaner and whiter. A professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. It also involves a fluoride treatment and polish to help protect and soothe your teeth and gums. It is never too late to treat your teeth.
What is it?
Timing of a preventative cleaning appointment is patient dependant. Most commonly they are scheduled at 3, 4, or 6 month intervals. A preventative cleaning appointment will take approximately an hour and will consist of a recall exam by the dentist (possible diagnostic radiographs may be taken), cleaning, polishing, review of oral hygiene instruction, and fluoride administration in some cases.
What happens during the recall exam?
During the recall exam, the dentist will examine the teeth thoroughly to rule out any areas of decay, or to make suggestions as to how to improve oral hygiene. In addition, diagnostic radiographs may be taken in order to:
- Assess for decay in between the teeth
- To assess bone levels of the teeth
- To monitor the healing of root canal therapy (if any are present)
- To assess the margins of crown or bridgework (if any are present)
What happens if new areas of decay are found during the exam?
If any areas of concern are present such as new areas of decay, then a separate appointment will be arranged.