Probably the most important piece of your dental hygiene plan is to continue to have routine dental exams and cleanings. We’ve all heard the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that does double for dentistry. We custom make our dental health plan for each and every one of our patients, ensuring that you get the perfect schedule for your dental needs.
Our regular exams include the following basic procedures:
How Long are Dental Exams?
Most routine exams and cleanings will last between 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your dental needs. Your exam includes an extensive dental cleaning where we clean, polish, and remove any plaque buildup from your teeth.
How Often Should I Have Dental Exams?
Our standard dental health plan recommends that you visit our office twice a year for your cleaning to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and that we can stay well ahead of any potential dental disasters. The earlier we catch the warning signs of potential dental trauma, the easier we can take care of it. After your initial appointment, our team of administrators will set you up with a reoccurring dental exam plan, minimizing your need to schedule and plan these appointments yourself. We strive to make it as easy as possible for you to maintain and keep your smile beautiful, healthy, and vibrant. Your oral health and hygiene has far-reaching impacts across the rest of your body, and by choosing Essentially Pure Dentistry, you will notice yourself looking and feeling better than ever before.
Benefits of Regular Dental Exams/Cleanings
Removes bacteria and plaque from places you can’t reach
Our hygienists use special instruments and techniques to gently and thoroughly remove bacteria and food particles from areas of your mouth that are hard to access with a toothbrush and floss. We can remove built-up plaque that has hardened into tartar and can’t be removed with a toothbrush or piece of floss.
Catches signs of cavities that you can’t see on your own
Dr. Pearson and our team have an eye for catching cavities that you may miss on your own. We also take X-rays to look at the insides of the teeth and in between the teeth, where the naked eye can’t see.
Checks existing restorations for problems
During an exam, Dr. Pearson checks any existing fillings, crowns, bridges and implants to ensure they are strong and intact. If any restorations have cracked or chipped, she can recommend a plan to repair them.
Removes surface stains for a whiter smile
Our hygienists remove surface stains and polish your teeth, for a brighter smile.
Opportunity to review proper at-home oral hygiene habits
Regular exams and cleanings are a good opportunity to brush up on your brushing and flossing techniques. Our hygienists can offer tips and tricks to optimize your at-home oral care, and suggest other ways to maintain oral health through your diet and lifestyle.
Checks for oral cancer
Dr. Pearson examines your mouth, head and neck to look for patches, lesions or lumps that could suggest a problem.
Discuss cosmetic dentistry options
Exams and cleanings are a great time to discuss improving the beauty of your smile through cosmetic dentistry. If you are interested in teeth whitening, the placement of porcelain veneers or other procedures, Dr. Pearson is happy to explain your options.
An investment in your overall health and well-being
Studies show a link between oral health problems and systemic health problems. Specifically, there is a connection between gum disease and problems like diabetes and heart disease. Preventing oral health problems with routine exams and cleanings is good for your overall health and wellness.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam and Cleaning
During your appointment, one of our skilled, experienced hygienists thoroughly cleans, polishes and flosses your teeth, concentrating on areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss. As the hygienist works, she demonstrates proper flossing technique and offers other suggestions to refine your at-home oral hygiene routine.
After your cleaning, Dr. Pearson conducts a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, tongue and other tissues inside your mouth. During the exam, she looks for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other potential problems. X-rays may be taken to look for things the naked eye cannot see. Dr. Pearson also examines your face, neck and jaw for any signs of oral cancer or other illnesses.
If you have questions at any point during your dental exam or cleaning, our team is happy to answer them. We love educating our patients about steps they can take to boost oral health!
Dental Exams and Cleanings Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I need to schedule dental exams and cleanings?
For the average patient, we recommend scheduling an exam/cleaning every six months. You may need to have more frequent cleanings and exams depending on whether you have specific oral health problems or are at a higher risk of dental disease due to lifestyle or health factors.
Is a dental exam and cleaning uncomfortable?
Exams and cleanings are simple and painless. Our hygienists are very gentle and want the experience to be relaxing and comfortable. You are encouraged to let them know if something doesn’t feel right as they clean your teeth.
Why do I need dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays can reveal a number of problems that cannot be seen during a visual exam. These include the following:
- Decay below existing restorations or between the teeth
- Infections in the jawbone
- Abscesses or cysts
- Signs of periodontal disease
Catching these problems early allows Dr. Pearson to treat them quickly, before they cause unnecessary discomfort. She can also use less-invasive methods to get rid of the issue.
Do I need dental exams if I wear dentures?
Absolutely. Regular dental exams are important, even if you can speak and eat comfortably with your dentures. During your exam, Dr. Pearson checks the tissues supporting the dentures for any irritation or other problems. She performs an oral cancer screening. And, she assesses the fit and condition of the dentures to determine whether there are any worn or broken areas that need repair.
Do I need dental exams if I wear braces?
Yes, professional cleanings and exams are critical if you wear braces. It is very easy for food particles to get stuck in between the brackets and wires of your braces, and if they are not removed, you can develop cavities or gum disease. Do not put off general dental care during your orthodontic treatment. Our hygienists are well versed in cleaning around braces to prevent bacteria buildup.
Can a teeth cleaning improve the color of my teeth?
Professional cleaning and polishing can get rid of surface stains on your teeth. For a more noticeable improvement in the color of your teeth, Dr. Pearson recommends a professional teeth whitening treatment with the GLO Brilliant system.
What are some signs I need to see my dentist in between regularly scheduled cleanings?
Regardless of how long it has been since you saw Dr. Pearson for a cleaning/exam, you should schedule an appointment if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Puffy gums or gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Unrelenting oral pain
- Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing your jaw
- A mouth sore that doesn’t go away
- Extreme tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
Request an Appointment with Us Today
To request an appointment for a dental exam and cleaning with our team, please contact Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. You can give us a call or send us an email today.