Prevention of dental problems begins with regular visits to your Dental Hygienist. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, visits will be scheduled at least every six months. These visits leave patients with the good feeling that comes from having clean teeth and healthy gums.
The purpose of this visit is not only to clean your teeth, but so that your dentist can do a thorough examination of your teeth, mouth, and gums. Like many health issues, problems found early are usually those most easily dealt with.
Good oral hygiene can affect your overall health. Bacteria, in some studies, have been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other serious medical issues.
The following step by step discussion will inform you of what to expect during your Dental Visit.
The Hygienist will perform a complete cleaning of your teeth. They can scrape below the gum line, removing build-up of plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath, and other problems. If it has been a while since your last visit, proper cleanings can take longer and may require an additional visit.
Your cleaning will normally end with the polishing and flossing of your teeth.
Oral Cancer Screening
Your hygienist will perform a 2-minute cancer screening using a revolutionary device called a Velscope. A special blue light that can reveal abnormalities illuminates the tissue within your mouth. Most oral cancers are detected very late, but the Velscope can detect early changes in tissue. This greatly improves chances of curing any disease that is found.
The Hygienist can provide you with a wealth of information about your oral health. This includes teaching you how to brush and floss correctly, and how to care for your gums. Many issues such as bad breath, teeth grinding, sports mouth guards, sensitive teeth, topical sealants, and teeth can be discussed with your hygienist.
In some cases, the hygienist may take intraoral photographs of your mouth to assist with the education process, and to provide to the dentist during your oral exam. These will be displayed on the monitor in your exam room for you to see.
The frequency of x-rays depends on your age, risk for disease, and symptoms. Generally bite wing digital x-rays will be taken once per year, and full mouth x-rays once every five years. These digital radiographs expose patients to 90% less radiation than older type systems, while enhancing the dentist’s ability to diagnose problems. Digital storage of images allows the dentist to watch for changes in your health over a period of time.