What to Expect at Your Dental Cleaning
Has it been a while since you’ve had your pearly whites polished? Are you new in town, and searching for a dentist? If you need a dental cleaning in Lone Tree, look no further than Metropolitan Dental Care. Our highly skilled hygienists can gently remove plaque and tartar and demonstrate how to keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits. Ever wonder exactly what is going on during a dental hygiene appointment? Today, we will discuss all the things we do to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
X-rays: Digital Diagnostic Imaging
It is common to have x-rays taken at your dental cleaning visit. This is necessary to assess the health of the teeth roots and the bone that surrounds them. X-rays help us detect cavities, bone loss, infections, and other things that cannot always be identified in a visual examination. If you are prone to dental issues such as gum disease or tooth decay, we may recommend taking x-rays every six months. In many cases, they are only necessary every one to two years.
Ever wonder what is happening when the hygienist pokes at your teeth? By using a special dental instrument called an explorer, we can detect the early signs of tooth decay. When the enamel demineralizes, the surface becomes slightly sticky. If the instrument sticks, then further treatment may be necessary. In some cases, the hygienist may have one of our Lone Tree dentists perform an examination.
Each tooth sits in a pocket. When you attend routine dental cleanings, we measure that pocket at six different points. Why is this? If gum disease is present, the infection can seep into the gums and erode the jawbone that supports the teeth. The pockets become deeper as more bone is lost. Healthy pockets measure approximately one to three millimeters. A four-millimeter pocket indicates gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. As the numbers progress, they represent the level of periodontitis that is present. Any pocket measuring over five millimeters typically requires some type of treatment.
Prophylaxis is just a fancy word for cleaning. This is the true bread and butter of your hygiene appointment. During this procedure, your hygienist will carefully remove plaque deposits, tartar, debris, and other irritants from the teeth using a combination of ultrasonic scalers and specialized hand instruments. He or she will also polish the teeth using a dental paste and rubber cup. This will remove residual staining from the surfaces of the teeth. The areas between the teeth will be cleaned with floss, as well. Following your cleaning, the hygienist will review any problematic areas with you, and will help you design a personalized at-home hygiene regimen.
Frequency of Cleanings
Many of our patients want to know how often they should have their teeth cleaned. This answer will vary depending on the needs of the patient. While most individuals only require cleanings every six months, those prone to decay or gum disease may need to see us more often. This is because the oral bacteria may repopulate sooner (and more aggressively) for some patients. Ultimately, your doctor will help you determine the frequency of your hygiene visits based on your unique dental needs.
Occasionally, you may experience tooth sensitivity, or we may detect enamel demineralization. In these instances, we may recommend a topical fluoride treatment to help strengthen the teeth and make them more resilient to damage. We also may discuss dental sealants with you if you have certain teeth that are more prone to cavities. Finally, the hygienist will also perform an oral cancer screening through visual assessment and palpation to ensure there are no abnormalities. During your hygiene appointment, we make sure your dental needs are met so that you can achieve healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
Contact Us to Learn More
To schedule a dental cleaning in Lone Tree, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, or Denver, call us at 303-534-2626 or contact us online. Our doctors and staff are committed to helping you with all of your dental needs.