Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that get neglected. That’s definitely true when it comes to dental exams and cleanings. Let’s face it. This is not an exciting dental appointment. It is not nearly as exciting as, say, a root canal procedure. But that’s not the kind of excitement that we want. Dental exams and cleanings are routine appointments that help prevent the need for costly and complicated dental work, like root canals, down the road.
Your Dental Exam
A dental exam is pretty much what it sounds like. Your dental team will be, at a minimum, conducting a visual inspection of your mouth, teeth, and gums to look for signs of trouble. If something is detected that concerns them, they may order x-rays to visualize internal structures of the teeth, gums and mouth.
Although you are, on a superficial level, more familiar with your own oral health, your dental team is trained to look for signs and symptoms of dental problems that you may overlook. One of these is the presence of plaque.
Plaque is an often transparent, sticky biofilm that adheres to the surface of the teeth. It forms when oral bacteria are not removed on a consistent basis. Plaque helps turn the tables, creating an environment favorable to the growth of oral bacteria that secrete acidic substances that damage your tooth enamel and irritate your gums.
As this process continues to develop, your gums can become infected and inflamed, leading to periodontal disease, popularly known as gum disease. Gum disease can undermine the structures supporting the teeth, causing teeth to eventually loosen and fall out.
If any issues are detected during your dental exam, your dentist may be summoned to look into it further. If any issues arise that require treatment, an individual treatment plan may be developed for you.
Oral Cancer Screening
Dental professionals are trained to look for signs of oral cancer that you may miss. Although oral cancer is definitely a serious disease, it is actually quite treatable when detected early. So be sure to keep up with your dental exam and cleaning appointments.
Your Dental Cleaning
If plaque is not removed on a timely basis, it hardens into tartar. Only your dental hygienist can remove tartar using specialized dental tools. So the dental cleaning portion of the program deals with the removal of plaque so that it does not form tartar and lead to gum disease.
Your teeth will also get a good polishing, making them silky smooth and enhancing the appearance of your smile.
The Bottom Line
Dental exams and cleanings help:
- Spot early evidence of gum disease and tooth decay
- Detect symptoms of oral cancer
- Clean and remove plaque and tartar from teeth
Schedule Your Appointment
Contact our office to schedule your dental exam and cleaning today!