Dental Exams and Cleanings

What is a check-up and cleaning?

It’s time for patients to realize that the most important part of their “check-up and cleaning” visit is the check-up, not the cleaning. These office visits are designed to look for changes in your mouth indicative of gum disease, evaluate the risk factors, evaluate the effectiveness of home care, check for signs of oral cancer, check the jaw joint and of course check the teeth.

Why do I need to have a periodic exam two or more times per year?

Dentistry has known for some time now that if you have gum disease, the typical cleaning performed twice yearly will have no effect. Gum disease is a silent disease – you can have it and not even know it. Left untreated it increases your risk for serious systemic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s). If you have gum disease, getting your teeth cleaned two times per year will neither eliminate the gum disease nor prevent its recurrence.

What is done at the recare appointment?

  • determine if there are any areas of gum inflammation. Treat those areas to eliminate inflammation. Simple polishing will do no good.
  • determine if you have any risk factors for gum disease.
  • determine the method which will result in the most rapid elimination of your gum inflammation.
  • determine what you need to do daily to help control the gum disease.
  • check for cancers and infections in the mouth.