New Patient Cleaning & Checkup
Our office uses advanced technology and modern techniques to ensure the highest quality dental care with minimal discomfort.
New Patient Cleaning & Exam
Oral hygiene is imperative to maintaining a healthy body. Tartar and plaque build-ups can lead to tooth decay and gum disease when left unattended. Regular check ups and cleanings can prevent many future problems. Let us help you ensure your teeth and gums stay in optimal health as we strive to improve and maintain your oral hygiene.
- Regular checkups can prevent gum disease
- Clean teeth and healthy gums
- Whiter smile
- Prevent cavities
- Reduce teeth sensitivity
- Freshen breath
Even if you brush and floss your teeth faithfully, it is important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. (Of course, if you aren’t quite so meticulous about your oral hygiene, it’s even more important!) After a thorough cleaning, your teeth will feel smooth and squeaky-clean, and they will probably look a lot brighter too. But professional teeth cleanings aren’t done for looks alone.
Why do your teeth need this kind of attention? Essentially, it’s because over time they tend to build up a layer of plaque (a sticky, bacteria-rich film) and hard deposits (called tartar, or calculus) that are very difficult to remove without special tools. When these deposits are allowed to remain on the tooth surfaces or below the gum line, they provide ideal conditions for bacteria to grow and multiply. The acids produced by some bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease; if left uncontrolled, this can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums, and possibly influence systemic (whole body) diseases.
Dentists have a special term for preventive procedures like tooth cleaning: prophylaxis, from the Greek word meaning to protect or guard against. In this case, the focus is on preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Performed in conjunction with a routine dental examination, a professional cleaning can go a long way toward controlling these two common maladies. While your teeth are being cleaned, it’s also a good opportunity to take a close look at your oral health in general and check for a few specific problems.
Typically a general cleaning will last around 60 minutes while one of our qualified hygienists gently cleans the surfaces of your teeth. The process rids your teeth of any built up tartar, plaque, and stains by using an ultrasonic water scaler and various manual scalers. The hygienist will then carefully examine your mouth for any existing or potential problems such as decay or periodontal disease.
HOW LONG WILL MY APPOINTMENT TAKE?
If you come in for regular cleanings, your appointment should last approximately 30 minutes. However, time may vary depending on your oral hygiene.
WILL IT HURT TO GET MY TEETH CLEANED?
New advances in the dental industry have allowed for a very comfortable experience during regular cleanings. However, some discomfort may be felt during cleaning near the gum line.
WHY DO I NEED TO GET MY TEETH CLEANED OFTEN?
A professional cleaning can get to places in your mouth that you can’t with a toothbrush of floss. It is important to rid your mouth of the harmful bacteria hiding below your gums.
WILL MY CLEANING BE COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?
Most of our treatments are covered by a majority of insurance companies. For a more detailed explanation of your coverage please call your service provider.
The Professional Cleaning Procedure
Teeth cleaning is often performed by a dental hygienist — a highly trained technician who uses a special set of tools designed just for this purpose. Because everyone’s teeth are a little different, your cleaning will be tailored to your particular needs. However, many cleanings follow a similar pattern.
First, the dental hygienist will do an oral examination to evaluate the health of your oral tissues. Then the cleaning will take place using either an ultrasonic scaler or metal instruments referred to as curettes to remove the plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. The ultrasonic scaler is a hand-held tool with a tiny tip that vibrates at a very high frequency. Hardened deposits are broken up by the rapid movement of the tip, which does not damage the tooth. A constant stream of liquid (called lavage) serves to cool the tip and aid in plaque removal; at the same time, it also washes away the debris.
Some hygienists prefer curettes, which are hand-held instruments that are curved and tapered to fit around and in between the teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, using hand-held instruments may be more comfortable for a professional cleaning. In the capable hands of a hygienist or dentist, it takes only moderate pressure to remove any stubborn buildup and scrub the teeth clean, regardless of which instruments are used.
Finally, your teeth are polished with a low-speed rotary brush fitted with a soft rubber tip. A slightly gritty, toothpaste-like gel is applied, and the tip spins around and polishes the teeth, making them smooth and shiny.
A Requirement for Good Oral Health
Most people don’t feel any noticeable discomfort during dental cleanings; some even report they enjoy the experience — especially the dramatic results when it’s done! If you haven’t had a cleaning in a while, however, it may take you a few moments to get used to getting your teeth cleaned. If you experience any discomfort, however, it may be possible to apply a topical numbing gel or another type of anesthetic.
If your gums are irritated due to bacterial buildup, they may become sore or bleed slightly during the cleaning. It may be possible to prevent this from occuring in the future with oral hygiene measures you can perform at home (such as improved flossing techniques or special mouthrinses); it might also indicate that you need more frequent in-office cleanings. This type of regular maintenance will help you avoid more involved dental procedures down the road — and it will give you the best chance of keeping your teeth for life!