Dental Exams and Cleanings Help Maintain Oral Health
Even if you brush twice and floss at least once daily, regular checkups with a dentist are absolutely essential. Many oral health complications present no symptoms in the earliest stages, when they are easiest to treat. Meanwhile, even the best daily at-home care often fails to completely eliminate plaque and tartar. Matthew A. Turner, D.D.S., P.C., serving Kansas City and Blue Springs, MO, can provide a dental cleaning and exam on a regular basis to help you maintain a healthy smile.
The Exam and Cleaning Appointment
The dental exam and cleaning are usually completed in a single appointment. Dr. Turner will perform the examination, while one of his experienced dental hygienists (either Sharon or Bridgette) will perform the cleaning, or dental prophylaxis. Your appointment will involve:
- Radiographs – The doctor may order x-rays, which will allow him to detect cavities or bone loss, as well as any pathological lesions.
- Cancer Screening – He will carefully inspect all the structures in the head and neck region. This includes screening for any lumps or discolorations that could be indicative of oral cancer.
- Dental Exam – Using a dental probe, the doctor will carefully examine all teeth and restorations.
- Periodontal Screening – The doctor or his hygienist will perform a periodontal screening, which can identify gum disease in its early stages.
- Oral Hygiene Evaluation – The hygienist will evaluate your oral hygiene and make any needed recommendations for improvement in your brushing or flossing techniques.
- Scaling – Using specialized instruments called scalers, she will remove any tartar or plaque that has formed on the teeth.
- Polishing – She will then use a dental handpiece with a rubber cup and a paste containing pumice to polish all surfaces of the teeth until they are gleaming.
- Fluoride Treatment – Finally, the hygienist will administer a professional fluoride treatment that makes the teeth more resistant to decay.
Finally, we will schedule your next exam and cleaning, or schedule any other treatment you might need.
If you are not currently visiting a dentist, are new to the Kansas City area, or wish to start ongoing treatment with a new dentist, we are here to help you.
How Often Should I Have an Exam?
Most patients are aware that they need regular exams and cleanings, but do not know how often. Dr. Turner and his team will establish a customized schedule based on your needs. In general, it is recommended that patients of all ages visit the dentist twice per year beginning with the eruption of their first tooth or their first birthday, whichever occurs first. However, higher risk patients may need more frequent checkups if they:
- They have an active oral health issue
- Form plaque and tartar at an abnormally fast rate
- Smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products
- Have diabetes or other conditions that place them at higher risk of developing an oral health condition
Make a Commitment to Your Oral Health
If you are not currently visiting a dentist, are new to the Kansas City area, or wish to start ongoing treatment with a new dentist, we are here to help you. Please call (816) 229-1433 or send a message using the electronic contact form on this website. We would be glad to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible.