Dental Exams in Beaverton
The Importance of Dental Exams, X-Rays, and CleaningsOne of the most important aspects of your dental health is taking a proactive and preventative approach. Even those with a strict dental hygiene regime can experience dental challenges. Preventative dental care includes regular dental exams, X-rays, and cleanings to help keep track of your dental health, watch for potential issues, and remove the plaque and tartar that aren’t reached by regular brushing and flossing. Here is why it is so important to maintain a regular schedule for your dental exams, X-rays, and cleaning.
Importance of Dental ExamsRegular dental exams and digital X-rays allow your dentist to gain a complete understanding of your current oral health. Once an exam is complete, we will create a customized treatment plan to address your oral health needs based on signs of dental decay or disease. By seeing the dentist regularly, you can address issues early on, so they do not lead to more painful and costly damage. The better you are at caring for your teeth and scheduling your dental appointments, the fewer treatments you will require.
How Long Does a Dental Exam Take?The average dental exam takes range from 15-30 minutes. However, if you have complex dental issues, the appointment can be longer. As well, not every exam requires X-rays, so your appointment can be shorter if those scans are not taken.
Why Do I Need Dental X-rays?Dental X-rays are taken based on your individual needs. Your dentist will assess your oral health and determine an X-ray schedule for your needs. With the new digital technology, the exposure time is much reduced and the risk of radiation is not as much as a concern as it used to be. New patients usually require a full series of X-rays or panoramic images as part of the initial assessment. It also provides a point of comparison for future assessments. When you schedule routine checkup visits, fewer X-rays are required. X-rays enable your dentist to see between and inside your teeth, as well as the tip of your roots and bone underneath your gums. Aside from regular checkups, X-rays are also used to isolate a particular tooth to diagnose issues based on your symptoms. That can include checking for cavities, decay, the presence of cysts, bone loss, and abscesses.
What Are Dental Cleanings?
Dental cleanings allow dental hygienists to remove plaque deposits from the surface of your teeth and along the gum line. Without regular dental cleanings, plaque hardens and transforms into tartar. This yellowish substance discolors the surface of your teeth, causes inflammation of gum tissue, and promotes decay. It can also contribute to the development of gum disease.
Is Dental Cleaning Necessary?Yes, dental teeth cleanings are necessary to remove plaque. Unfortunately, brushing and flossing alone won’t remove plaque. Your hygienist can remove tartar between teeth to prevent decay and gum disease. Plaque is also linked to heart disease, arterial blockages, and stroke.
Types of Dental CleaningThere are many types of dental cleaning. The most common include:
- Prophylaxis Cleaning A prophylaxis cleaning is the routine cleaning performed on healthy patients at your regular dental checkups. It removes hardened plaque and surface stains. It can’t be performed on severely damaged teeth but is instead designed to maintain already healthy teeth. In most cases, prophylaxis cleaning is recommended once every six months. This will ensure plaque does not build up on the surface of the teeth.
- Scaling and Root Planing Scaling and root planing is a “deep cleaning” that’s typically provided to patients at high risk of developing or already suffering from gum disease. Patients with signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums and swollen gums or loose teeth will require this type of cleaning.
- Gross Debridement A dentist sometimes could recommend a gross debridement. It is a common cleaning used on patients who have not had a cleaning in over a year or who have developed a buildup of hardened plaque in which prevent the dentist to examine the teeth and gums thoroughly. Your dentist will determine which cleaning is best suited for your needs. If you require scaling and root planing or/and gross debridement or/and prophy , you might require a few appointments to bring your teeth back to a healthy state. You can then return to basic prophylaxis cleaning.