Dental Exams and Cleanings

Why are regular dental exams important?
Many dental issues are most treatable when they are detected early. The best way to protect and maintain your dental health is to stay on top of your dental exams. The American Dental Association recommends a checkup at least once every six months. Your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups if you are at high risk for tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems.

What should I expect at a routine dental exam and cleaning?
During a dental exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque or tartar buildup. Your dentist will also check for dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, tooth root decay, enamel erosion, and bite problems. Your dental exam may also include dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures, particularly if it has been longer than a year since you’ve seen a dentist. This will help your dentist evaluate your need for tooth restoration such as fillings or crowns, or tooth replacement such as dentures or dental implants. Your dentist may also review proper brushing and flossing techniques as well as assess how much fluoride you’re getting through your diet and use of oral hygiene products. Finally, your dentist and dental hygienist will design an individual treatment plan for you based on what they find during your exam.