Regular Visits Are Essential to Dental Health
We encourage our patients to come in at least twice a year for dental checkups and thorough cleanings. Scheduling these biannual visits is one of the most important things you can do to protect your smile.
What to Expect During Your Dental Appointment
At each regular visit, one of our hygienists will thoroughly clean your teeth. They use gentle techniques, and their friendly demeanor will keep you comfortable throughout your appointment. As they work, they will remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar. After your cleaning, Dr. Pietrok or Dr. St. Germain will come in for a checkup. They will closely examine your teeth and gums to look for decay, chips, cracks, or gum inflammation. If they notice any problems, they will recommend treatment to prevent significant dental damage. At these visits, they will also conduct an oral cancer screening, looking for any redness, irritation, or lesions. Although these things usually turn out to be harmless, if they see anything unusual, they may order a biopsy.
Typically, we take X-rays at every other visit. These images allow us to detect small areas of decay or other concerns that are not visible to the naked eye. We proudly use digital X-rays for safer, more precise imaging.
If you are suffering from gum disease, you may require a deep cleaning. During this procedure, also known as scaling and planing, your dentist will remove pockets of bacteria from your gum tissue. He or she will also smooth rough patches on your dental roots. Bacteria often accumulate in these areas. Therefore, a deep cleaning is one of the most effective ways to prevent a flare-up of your periodontal disease.
Why Are Exams and Dental Cleanings Important?
Routine dental visits are vital for several reasons. First, without regular cleanings, bacteria, plaque, and tartar will build up on your teeth. Eventually, they will begin to erode your dental enamel, causing cavities. Additionally, the bacteria may spread below your gum line, and you could develop gum disease. Second, even if you do suffer from decay or gum disease, with regular exams, our dentists can detect these problems in the earliest stages. Then they can recommend an appropriate restorative treatment before they cause widespread damage or severe discomfort. Finally, oral cancer screenings are often the key to successfully overcoming the disease. With early diagnosis, patients usually have a more favorable outlook.
When Should You Schedule an Appointment?
The American Dental Association® recommends that patients come in for dental visits every six months. However, in some cases, you may benefit from more frequent visits. If you have a personal or family history of decay, gum disease, or oral cancer, we may recommend three or more visits a year. You may also benefit from more frequent visits if you smoke or have a health condition that increases your risk for gum disease.