What Happens During Dental Exams and Cleanings?

What Happens During Dental Exams and Cleanings?

Sep 04, 2021

Dental exams and cleanings in Burlington, Ontario are crucial in preventing oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. While it is expected that illnesses will often present symptoms to let you know something is wrong, sometimes you become aware of the symptoms when the damage has already been done. Take the example of gum disease which silently affects patients and only becomes pronounced when it is in the advanced stages. Therefore, to save you from the anguish of dealing with far-progressed illnesses and expensive cost of treatment, you are advised to deep clean your teeth and get an examination performed at least once every year.

Dental Exams

Simply put, a dental exam is a routine check-up of your mouth in an effort to maintain good oral health. The process is usually performed by a dentist of dental hygienist, a dentist that specializes in cleaning teeth and helping patients maintain good oral hygiene.

Everyone makes a good candidate for routine check-ups. Both adults and children should make the habit to visit a dentist every 6 to 12 months. The exact frequency of your check-ups will however be determined by your dentist based on the state of your oral health as well as your dental needs. People with existing dental issues such as gum disease may need to get dental examinations performed up to four times in a year.

For kids, their first dental check-up needs to be immediately they get their first tooth or by the time they are a year old. Thereafter they should get an exam every six months or as per the dentist’s recommendation.

What to Expect

  • An Oral Examination

As part of your routine check-up at Harbour View Dental, a physical assessment of your mouth is done to detect any obvious problems. A small mirror is usually used to see if your teeth, gums, tongues cheeks and other oral tissue show any signs of disease. If there is no issue detect, your dentist will allow go ahead and have your teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist. The exam may also include checking around your face and neck for abnormal signs.

Your medical history may also be reviewed at this point to determine if you have any illnesses that impact your oral health. Your dentist may also need to know any medications you are taking.

  • Dental X-rays

X-rays help the dentist see what the naked eye cannot see. There are different types of x-rays used in oral exams and it all depends with what the dentist is looking for. One type is the full mouth x-ray that is done once every few years. Then there is the bitewing x-rays which are commonly used to check for cavities and other common dental problems.

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal

While brushing and flossing your teeth at home helps keep your mouth nd healthy, it may not be 100% effective. It can be difficult to clean along the gumline sand in between teeth which leads to accumulation of plaque and tartar. During the professional cleaning, the hygienist performs a procedure known as dental scaling. It involves use of tiny metal tools to scrape teeth for plaque removal as well as heavy tartar removal.

After the scaling process, a special electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste is used to polish your teeth and thereafter you receive expert flossing and your mouth is then rinsed of any debris.

  • Fluoride Treatment

Once your teeth are clean, your hygienist will make an assessment to determine whether you require a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel to prevent problems like tooth decay and cavities. It comes in form of a gel, foam or paste which is applied on the surface of the teeth and then given sometime to set in.

  • Oral Health Education

After getting an exam and a cleaning to remove stains on your teeth, your dentist takes the opportunity to educate you on how to properly care for your teeth back at home. This includes a demonstration on how to properly brush and floss your teeth. You will also receive tips on how your lifestyle habits and choices can be used to improve good oral health.

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