Dr. Lisa Brewer
Routine dental cleanings are important to maintaining good oral hygiene. Professional cleaning by a hygienist can remove mineralized plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. It is recommended you go in for a cleaning once every six months.
You can expect your dental cleaning to last between 30 minutes and an hour. Typically, a trained hygienist will do the cleaning, and a dentist may come in for an exam at the end. Most people find that dental cleanings are painless, and do not cause any discomfort.
There are two important steps to a dental cleaning. The first step is scaling the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. This can be performed by hand or with electric scalers depending on the hygienists preference. Typically, the hygienist will also dig into the pockets of the gums to remove any plaque buildup there. The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque and buff the teeth. Polishers generally have several different sized heads to clean hard to reach places.
Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help to avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. New Image Dentistry recommends bi-annual checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage.
The dentist first examines your mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high intensity lights. They will look for cracked and decayed teeth, as well as review other important items such as:
Medical history: The dentist will assess how any medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health.
Examination of tooth decay: Your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for periodontal disease.
Examination of existing restorations: Fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order.
Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas below the gums. Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years. New Image Dentistry always includes the cost of all x-rays with your exam! Never pay for another x-ray!
From a deep dental cleaning to surgery, there are several options for treating periodontal disease. The treatment plan depends largely on the severity of the gum disease. The goal of periodontal disease treatment is to get rid of disease-causing bacteria and stop the progress of the disease. The American Academy of Periodontists stresses that treatment should start early, with the most cost-effective and noninvasive options.
There are two stages of the disease. Gingivitis is milder and only affects the gums. The disease is often reversible at this stage when treated early. Periodontics is the second stage and more serious form of gum disease. Gums may separate from the teeth, forming pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets become infected as well as the gums, damaging tissue and bones that support the teeth. If left untreated, tooth loss can occur.
Treatment options include deep cleaning (or scaling and root planing). The first step is usually a thorough cleaning of the spaces between the affected teeth and gums. This is called scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing removes rough spots and bacteria from the teeth.
Conscious sedation dentistry has become very popular because it offers several benefits for both the patient and the dentist. For some patient groups, the use of sedation dentistry is actually the only way that they can get the dental care they need and improve their dental health.
Dental sedation can offer:
• Patient relaxation
• Increased comfort
• Movement control
• Patient co-operation
• Control of gag reflex
• Little or no memory of treatment
• Time saving – Fewer appointments needed
Suitable candidates for sedation dentistry are all dental patients who:
• Experience stress, fear, or anxiety at the dentist
• Have had previous traumatic dental experiences
• Are afraid or embarrassed about their smile
• Are afraid of needles in their mouth
• Don’t like “Novocain” or anesthetic
• Have difficulty getting anesthetized or numb
• Have strong gag reflexes
• Need Oral Surgery or Implant Surgery
• Need Complex Major Dentistry