A dental cleaning takes less than an hour. But your appointment may take a bit longer because your dentist performs various preventative and diagnostic services essential to your oral health during your cleaning appointment. Here’s what to know about regular dental checkups and cleanings.
What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning
An appointment with your dentist to have your teeth cleaned typically begins with a cleaning performed by a dental hygienist. However, depending upon how long it has been since your last dental x-rays, you may first have low-radiation digital x-rays taken.
To clean your teeth, the dentist or hygienist will use a special tool to remove plaque and bacteria. Then, they will use an electric brush and dental-grade toothpaste to clean your teeth. They will typically conclude the cleaning portion by flossing your teeth.
Once the teeth are cleaned, your dentist will take over and begin a complete oral examination. They will look for signs of wear on the teeth due to grinding (bruxism). They will examine your teeth for chips and fractures.
Beyond just examining the condition of your teeth, during a dental cleaning, your dentist will examine your entire mouth for signs of disease, including lesions, bumps, or sores in the mouth. They will review your x-rays to look for decay in the teeth invisible to the naked eye. Your dentist also uses X-rays to examine bone density in your jaw and identify cysts, infections, or abscesses.
During your teeth cleaning, your dentist will also examine your gums, looking for any signs of
gum disease (gingivitis). During your cleaning appointment, your dentist will ask you to bite down (sometimes repeatedly) to check the function of your jaw, and the alignment of your bite.
What happens next is unique to each patient. Your dentist may confirm that your teeth and gums are healthy, and schedule you for another appointment in six months. Or, your dentist may discuss the need for fillings, a mouthguard to protect your teeth from grinding, or treatment for gum disease.
Your dentist will conclude your appointment with a follow-up plan and suggestions for improving oral health. They will also answer any questions you have before you leave.
Why Are Regular Dental Cleanings Important?
Regular dental cleanings are vital for removing bacteria that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. If bacteria are left in the mouth, you risk tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. Worse, poor oral health is correlated with various chronic and severe conditions. Simply put, taking care of your teeth and gums is essential to protecting your overall health.
Regular dental cleanings also save you a great deal of money. When you see the dentist regularly, they will identify and treat minor problems before they become more serious problems later.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning in Morganville, NJ
Champagne Smiles is a top New Jersey dental practice serving all of Monmouth County. Our dentists are among the most highly regarded and highly awarded dentists in New Jersey. As a full-service dental practice, our expert dentists, periodontists, and anesthesiologists are supported by friendly, skillful, and highly experienced dental hygienists and assistants. To schedule a dental cleaning and exam, call 732-972-0918, or send us a message today.