As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. That is why we focus on thorough exams (regular recall examinations) and routine oral hygiene care (cleanings).
Regular oral exams or “recall examinations” are key to your dental health. Next to brushing and flossing, visiting the dental office is the best thing you can do to maintain your oral health. Recall examinations are designed to prevent dental problems before they start and ensure that existing problems you have do not worsen. How often you go for an examination will depend on your oral health needs. For many people this means a check up every six months. Your dentists may suggest that you visit more or less depending on your oral health and how well you care for your teeth and gums at home.
During your oral exam your dentist will check for:
- Deterioration of fillings, crowns and other dental work
- Tooth cavities, Root cavities (cavities that form when the gum receeds) and cavities around existing fillings
- Tiny fractures in a tooth
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Early signs of gum disease
- Early signs of oral cancer
Routine oral hygiene care is basically your “cleaning”. A professional cleaning by your dental hygienist involves scaling and polishing to remove plaque, tarter and stains from your teeth. A cleaning makes your teeth and fillings smooth, so it’s harder for plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky biofilm that builds up on your teeth every day. If plaque is left on your teeth, it hardens and turns into tarter. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It cannot be removed with your toothbrush. If left unchecked, tartar can cause gum disease. You may also receive a fluoride treatment as part of your routine cleaning appointment. Fluoride is most critical during the time of development of both primary and permanent teeth. Both children and adults benefit from fluoride, especially those that have a tendency to develop cavities. Research has proven that topical fluoride is important in fighting tooth decay and strengthening developing teeth.