Preventive Dental Exams & Cleanings
To effectively control bacteria-rich plaque and tartar, and therefore prevent them from causing cavities and gingivitis, you should attend a professional dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. During your exam, Dr. Darlington will carefully examine your teeth and oral tissues, sometimes utilizing digital X-rays and an intraoral camera for a more accurate view of your oral health. The preventive dental appointments help us keep track of changes in your oral health and treat concerns before they become too severe. In addition to checking for common dental problems, Dr. Darlington will also perform a comprehensive oral cancer screening during each visit.
Along with routine examinations, your regular visits will also include professional cleanings by our skilled dental hygienist. A regular cleaning, or prophylaxis, involves the use of professional equipment to clean away deposits of plaque and tartar from every surface of your teeth. Special attention is paid to problematic areas, like between your teeth and along the gum line, to remove plaque, tartar, and food debris that you may have missed on your own. Once they are cleaned, your hygienist will polish your teeth for a smooth finish, and to inhibit oral bacteria buildup in the future.
Periodontal (Deep) Cleanings
When plaque and tartar work their way underneath your gums, the bacteria can infect the tissues, causing them to become irritated and inflamed. The infection, known as gingivitis, is a precursor to gum disease, which could potentially destroy your gums and the jawbone underneath them, leading to permanent tooth loss. Deep cleaning, or periodontal cleaning, may be necessary for patients who exhibit signs of gingivitis to remove the infection, preferably before gum disease sets in. Because the procedure involves accessing, cleaning, and polishing the teeth roots underneath your gums, it may require more than one visit to complete.