Dental Hygiene/Periodontal Health

Can I get my teeth cleaned on my first visit?

This is always a tough question to answer.  If someone is switching dentist or has just moved to the area and had their teeth cleaned regularly and has no gum disease, often we can and will clean your teeth the same day.  If it’s been awhile since you have seen a dentist or you have been diagnosed with periodontal / gum disease in the past, then we may or may not be able to do the cleaning on your first visit.  We know your time is valuable and we try to use common sense and sensible judgment to make that decision together.

Dental Hygiene/Periodontal Health

In addition to the meticulous cleaning, polishing, and examination of your teeth, we also take the time to help our patients develop proper oral hygiene habits at home. We will evaluate your hygiene techniques and make adjustments to your routine where needed. Our doctors and hygienists will also make suggestions for preventative measures such as dental sealants or nightguards to protect against bruxism & TMJ.

If we feel that you are suffering from gingivitis or more severe gum disease, we may recommend a root scaling or planing. These measures can be instrumental in preventing bone loss and helping you to keep your natural teeth.

Oral Cancer Screenings

During a dental exam, the doctor will check your neck and oral tissues for lumps, red or white patches or recurring sore areas.
Screening for early changes in the oral tissue can help detect cancer at a stage when it can be more successfully treated.

Smoking, especially combined with heavy alcohol consumption (30 drinks a week or more), is the primary risk factor for oral cancer.  In fact, this combination is estimated to be the most likely trigger in about 75 percent of oral cancers diagnosed in this country. Other lifestyle and environmental factors also may increase your risk of developing oral cancer.

Scaling & Root Planing

This non-surgical procedure usually called a “periodontal” or “deep cleaning.” Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical method used to treat periodontal disease. Scaling is used to remove harmful plaque and calculus (tartar build up) from the gumline. A local anesthetic (novocaine) is usually given. It is important to remove the plaque and tartar from the pockets, because aside from the bacterial toxins that irritate the gums, plaque and the rough surfaces of tartar make it easier for bacteria to gain a foothold.

Periodontal Maintenance

If you have had scaling and root planing or periodontal surgery, the regular cleanings that will be recommended to you after those treatments are called periodontal maintenance therapy. Once the disease is brought under control, it is critical that periodontal maintenance procedures be performed on a regular basis by your dentist or hygienist, usually on a 3 or 4 months interval.

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