Professional Dental Cleaning with a Registered Dental Hygienist
Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and diagnosing potential problems, but they are not a “fix-all” solution. Professional cleanings twice a year combined with daily self-cleaning can remove a high percentage of disease-causing bacteria and plaque. In addition, teeth that are well cared for make for a sparkling white smile.
Your recare appointment will include a dental exam and the removal of calculus (tartar), the removal of plaque and teeth polishing.
There are numerous types of oral hygiene aids on the supermarket shelves, and it can be difficult to determine which will provide the best benefit to your teeth. We can provide you with suggestions for home care and oral hygiene aids to ensure you maintain your bright, white smile!
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients.
Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recare (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year (to detect potential dental problems.)
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums.
It’s important to note that fluoride won’t prevent decay alone. It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your family dentist on a regular basis. We generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
We may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for a variety of reasons, which we will discuss with you during your appointment.
A panoramic X-ray is a 360 digital radiograph of the face and teeth. It offers a view that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. A panoramic X-ray provides a better view of the sinus areas, nasal areas and mandibular nerve. They can expose hidden structures, such as impacted teeth, reveal abscessed teeth, and also show fractures, bone loss, tumours and cysts.
The panoramic X-ray is extremely versatile in dentistry, and is used for a variety of reasons including:
- Oral Cancer Screening
- Assess patients with an extreme gag reflex.
- Evaluate the progression of TMD.
- Expose cysts and abnormalities.
- Expose impacted teeth.
- Expose jawbone fractures.
- Plan treatment (full and partial dentures, braces and implants).
- Reveal gum disease and cavities.
Dental plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease, so it’s essential to remove it every day with effective brushing and flossing. This doesn’t mean scrubbing, which can actually cause your gums to recede. Proper techniques can be demonstrated for you by one of our Hygienists. Don’t hesitate to ask your hygenist about your overall health.
Of course, there are some areas of the mouth that a toothbrush and floss just can’t reach, which is why it’s so important to have regular professional cleanings at Summerland Dental Centre. Your regular dental exam is also a time when early signs of gum disease can be detected before they become a major issue.
Eating a nutritious diet low in sugar, and staying away from tobacco in all forms, will also increase your periodontal health — and your chances of keeping your teeth for life.