TEETH CLEANING AND DENTAL CHECKUPS
To maintain oral health, you’ll need to do your part by taking an active role in your oral health – both at home and in our office. A daily regimen of brushing and flossing your teeth, and using a mouth rinse is important for healthy teeth and gums. Just as important is having your teeth cleaned professionally in our office every six months. Dr. Park’s friendly dental hygienists will expertly clean your teeth and provide you with information on how to sustain a healthy smile.
Regular Professional Checkups and Teeth Cleaning Benefits:
- Helps to avoid developing cavities and gum disease
- Promotes longer lasting natural teeth
- Lessens the chance your enamel wearing down
- Helps with early detection and treatment of cancer and other oral health conditions
- Results in strong, white teeth for a healthy smile
Failure to Maintain Proper Oral Health Can Lead to:
- Tooth loss which can impair your ability to eat and digest certain foods, which can lead to nutritional and systemic problems
- Gum infections and gangrene
- Periodontal disease which can cause bad breath and/or rotting food particles that can lodge in between teeth
- Negative effects on cardiovascular wellbeing and your overall health
What to Expect at Your First Checkup
Dr. Park and his staff take pride in getting to know each patient so that a treatment plan is tailored to each individual’s specific health needs. First, you will see one of our hygienists for a teeth cleaning, which will take about an hour. If you are new to our practice, patient visits usually take a bit longer. Here’s what to expect the first time you come to our office:
- Dental & Medical History – A hygienist will gather your dental and medical histories so that we have a clear picture of your current health, including any medical conditions that can impact dental treatment.
- Teeth Cleaning and Gum Evaluation – Our hygienist will evaluate your gums by measuring periodontal pockets with a probe, and clean your teeth to remove tartar, plaque, and calculus.
- Digital X-rays – We’ll take digital x-rays as diagnostic material for your comprehensive oral exam. If you have had x-rays taken within the last 12 months, please have them sent to our office. If you are unable to have x-rays taken, please inform the hygienist as you give your medical history.
- Oral Screening and Teeth Exams – After we perform an oral cancer/lesion screening for symptoms of cancer and other illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, we examine your teeth for decay.
- Review Good Oral Hygiene Habits – The last part of your visit we will review and reinforce proper oral hygiene.
The Teeth Cleaning Procedure
When you come in for a cleaning, your dental hygienist identifies and removes plaque—a soft film that can be removed by brushing—and tartar—a hardened plaque that requires dental instruments for removal. We make every effort to clean all surfaces of your teeth, including the tiny spaces between your teeth and along gum-lines where bacteria gather.
We often complete the cleaning with prophy paste. Its coarse quality, which removes any remaining plaque as it dissolves into a finer texture, leaves the teeth shiny and smooth. We inform you of any areas where plaque and tartar build-up, so you can give those places extra attention by flossing and brushing each day. Our goal is to enable you to easily and effectively care for your teeth.
Are there different kinds of teeth cleanings?
No. Prophylaxis—a fancy word for teeth cleaning—is the only dental procedure of its kind. Prophylaxis involves a routine teeth cleaning every six months.
The procedures that are sometimes called “cleanings” are actually periodontal treatments:
- Full Mouth Debridement – a pre-cleaning for those with severe calculus build up.
- Scaling and Root Planing – a deep cleaning for those with early stages of gum disease.
- Perio Maintenance – a periodontal cleaning for those with a history of gum disease.
The Cost of Teeth Cleaning
Most dental insurance policies include benefits that cover teeth cleanings. After all, not maintaining good oral hygiene will most likely lead to astronomical costs down the road, as failure to keep up with teeth cleanings often leads to serious and expensive health problems. Every patient’s budgetary situation is different, so we are happy to discuss yours with you. At a consultation, we present any possible costs up front to help you navigate your insurance benefits. Our main objective is to help you have a successful oral health experience.