Most people understand the importance of good oral hygiene which is why they always make it a point to floss and brush their teeth daily. A healthy diet that includes cheeses, milk, nuts, fruits and lean meat also keeps the teeth strong and prevents gum and tooth problems like tartar build-up, cavities and gum disease. But these healthy habits aren’t enough. Brushing and flossing may get rid of plaque but it won’t remove tartar. Here in our Haverford, PA clinic we always make it a point to educate our patients of the need for regular dental exams and cleanings.
How It’s DoneAmber, our dental hygienist will check for cavities, plaque or tartar on your teeth. Cavities, also called dental caries, are the holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay. Plaque, on the other hand, is a sticky colorless layer of bacteria that hardens over time and turns into tartar. After checking your teeth, Amber will inspect your gums using a special tool that can measure the space between your gums and teeth. Healthy gums have shallow spaces while those with gum disease have deep spaces in between them. She will then remove the plaque and tartar in your teeth using a method called scaling. Other methods that will be used during dental cleaning includes tooth polishing and debridement which is necessary if you have not had your teeth professionally cleaned for a long time. These procedures effectively remove soft and hard deposits of plaque and calculus (tartar) buildup on the teeth and prevent the onset of gum disease and cavities. If you’re a bit anxious about getting a professional dental cleaning, don’t worry. Our patients are appreciative of Amber’s ability to be very gentle and thorough.
Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings:
- Brightens your smile
- Detects dental problems early
- Prevents tooth loss
- Prevents bad breath
- Maintains good physical health
- Saves money
Comprehensive Dental ExamsA comprehensive dental exam, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), is an extensive evaluation and recording of all intraoral, extraoral and soft tissues of the patient. The ADA recommends that new patients should undergo this exam on their first visit, and every 3 years thereafter. A periodic oral exam should be given to existing patients to determine any changes since the last comprehensive evaluation.
The Comprehensive Exam includes the following:
- Periodontal Evaluation (This includes the gum and bones supporting the teeth)
- Dental Evaluation
- Head and Neck Exam to check for signs of cancer (soft tissues of the mouth, throat and surrounding areas)
- Occlusal Exam (to analyze bite)
- TMJ Exam (for the jaw)
- Radiographic Exam (X-rays)
- Aesthetic and Smile evaluation