Southern Dental Implant Center

Exams, Cleanings, and General Dentistry for a Healthy Smile

Aug 1, 2015 @ 09:00 AM — by Dr. Collier
Tagged with: General Dentistry Tooth Decay Restorative Dentistry

Even if you brush and floss your teeth every day, it is not enough to completely protect your smile. For complete oral health, it is necessary to undergo general dentistry care from an experienced practitioner. Our dentists provide a full array of treatments, but routine exams and cleanings are the most fundamental. During these regular appointments, we can remove plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease and decay. We can also check for early symptoms of cavities and periodontitis, providing treatment in the earliest stages. These visits will also give us a chance to discuss your dental health and provide guidance for better at-home care. To schedule your dental exam and cleaning, contact our Memphis practice today.

The Importance of Exams and Cleanings

When bacteria accumulate in your mouth, they can severely compromise your oral health. First the bacteria will form sticky plaque and hard tartar. These stubborn substances will trap bacteria against your teeth. Then, whenever you eat, they will derive energy from the starches in your food. As the microbes interact with starches, they will multiply and form acids, which will erode your tooth enamel. Eventually, the bacteria will penetrate through your tooth, forming a cavity. If this process goes unchecked, you could eventually develop a dental infection.

Oral bacteria can also spread below your gum tissue. At first, you may only experience minor discomfort and gum inflammation. However, the microbes will multiply quickly. They will form pockets in your gum tissue. As the pockets grow larger, you will experience many more severe symptoms. These side effects could include gum recession, jawbone recession, severe inflammation, and tooth loss.

Exams and cleanings can protect your smile and oral-systemic health. Even though brushing and flossing can combat bacteria, only professional care can completely eradicate plaque and tartar. Plus, through regular exams, your dentist can look for the early symptoms of dental damage. With a prompt diagnosis, we can typically address your condition with conservative treatments.  

What to Expect at Your Exam and Cleaning

Dental exams and cleanings typically take about an hour, and they involve minimal discomfort. However, we know that for some patients, these regular visits can be a source of great stress. We recognize that dental anxiety is a serious problem and that it is not your fault. For this reason, we offer compassionate, non-judgmental care, as well as several forms of dental sedation. We will explain more about oral and IV sedation, and we will help you choose the most appropriate one for you. 

To protect your smile, your hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and gum line. Then one of our dentists will check for cavities and gum inflammation. He or she will also conduct an oral cancer screening. If your dentist sees anything out of the ordinary, he or she will typically order a biopsy. At regular intervals, we will also take dental x-rays. In most cases, we will do so at every other visit. However, if you present the symptoms of decay or you have a history of cavities, we may take x-rays more often.

Who Should Receive Exams and Cleanings?

Dental exams and cleanings are essential for everyone. Even if you are missing all of your teeth, and you currently have a full implant-supported denture, you should come in for regular visits. As an implant patient, you are still vulnerable to gum disease, which can compromise your dental restorations. In most cases, you should schedule biannual visits. However, if you have been diagnosed with gum disease, or if you have had an unusual number of cavities, we may recommend three or four visits a year.

Schedule Your Preventative Care Today

Dental exams and cleanings are simple, but they can have lifelong benefits for your oral health. Contact us today to schedule a visit.