Regular visits to the dentist are an integral part of oral health. Brushing and flossing are great habits for home care, but it’s during a dental cleaning that your dentist can get to any spots that you can’t reach on your own, getting rid of harmful bacteria. Dental exams are more important than you might think – because most dental problems do not present symptoms until they’ve reached a more advanced stage, by the time you realize that there might be something wrong, it might be too late to get treatment, or at least easily fix the problem. Preventing existing problems from getting worse or from occurring at all is more effective than any dental treatment. A dental exam allows your dentist to closely evaluate the health of your mouth, checking for signs of problems that you can’t see.
During a dental exam, your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. The gums will be examined as well; your dentist will check for puffiness or discoloration, both signs of gum disease. Dental x-rays are usually taken once or twice a year. These allow your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth.
Following the dental exam, a hygienist will perform a dental cleaning. This procedure removes plaque and tartar deposits that your daily brushing and flossing misses. After a while, this substance can accumulate. Traditionally, a teeth cleaning involved manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools. However, advances in dental technology has created more options for teeth cleanings, such as a laser teeth cleaning. This procedure is also known as an ultrasonic cleaning and is a popular alternative to traditional cleanings. During a laser teeth cleaning, an ultrasonic scaler is used to remove deposits, kill harmful microbes, and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums. This tool uses high-frequency sound waves, making it more comfortable than traditional cleanings for many patients. They are also quicker, quieter, and pain-free.