Cleanings & Exams
Throughout the day, plaque and bacteria collect in your mouth and on the surfaces of your teeth. Even though they are completely natural, they can be quite harmful. Plaque is naturally acidic. Bacteria produce acids as they eat the lingering sugars in your mouth. When these acids are left on the surfaces of your teeth too long, they can lead to tooth decay. Plaque and bacteria can also irritate your gums, increasing your risk for gum disease. Brushing and flossing are important habits for eliminating this buildup. However, even if you brush twice a day, you may miss parts of your mouth, or not clean them thoroughly.
Cleanings are designed to help eliminate all buildup from all surfaces of your teeth, including from the areas that you cannot access on your own. We are also able to remove any tartar, or calcified plaque, that has accumulated. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing.
Your cleaning starts with a thorough scraping of your teeth. Using a specialized tool, we gently scrape away all buildup from all visible surfaces of your teeth. We also scrape between the teeth as well as along and just below the gumline. After scraping, the teeth are polished. We use an electric handpiece with a rotating head to scrub your teeth with a special dental polish that contains mild abrasives to polish your teeth. This provides your teeth, and your smile, with a beautiful shine. Finally, we floss your teeth. Along with removing any buildup, flossing helps to get rid of any loose debris or lingering polish that may have accumulated during your cleaning.
Exams are typically performed in the same visit as your cleaning. With exams, we take a close look at your teeth and your gums, checking for signs of decay, damage, and gum disease. We are trained to spot the earliest warning signs before you even notice any symptoms, which allows us to then provide you with prompt treatment before the condition worsens. Along with checking your teeth and your gums, we also perform an oral cancer screening, which involves scanning the soft tissues in your mouth to check for abnormalities.
Dental x-rays are an important part of your exams. While not typically performed at every exam, x-rays allow us to see the hidden structures of your mouth. With x-rays, we can check for cavities between your teeth, examine the tooth roots, monitor the condition of your jawbone, and more. They allow us to see issues that we might not otherwise notice until the condition significantly worsens, and symptoms begin appearing. In dentistry, problems only get bigger, so it’s best to catch them early on when they are small!
Regular cleanings and exams are an essential part of keeping your smile healthy. If it is time to schedule your next cleaning and exam, call LakeView Dental Arts today at (865) 248-2199.