For preventative care

Individuals with healthy teeth and gums will generally only need to see their dentist every six months for a prophylaxis (preventative care) appointment. These visits generally consist of: • Cleaning • Exam • Appropriate X-rays • Oral cancer screening • Periodontal evaluation • Orthodontic assessment …as well as a consultation to answer any current questions or concerns that you may have about your teeth. Should any type of treatment be needed, you’ll schedule the procedure at that time. Unless you

If you’ve had periodontal (gum) disease

Gum disease causes permanent bone and soft tissue loss around the teeth, making them more challenging to brush, floss, and maintain. To prevent relapse of disease, most gum periodontal patients need to see their dentist every 3-4 months for maintenance appointments. Unlike preventative cleanings, these visits are meant to control infection and prevent it from spreading, rather than avoid the onset altogether. Depending on how your body responds and if any adjunctive procedures (such as bone or gum grafting) have

Denture care and maintenance

Even if you no longer have natural teeth that you’re caring for, you should still see your dentist routinely (at least once per year) to check for soft tissue diseases like oral cancer or to monitor the fit of your dentures. As time goes by, removable prosthetics can start to wear down or fit loosely because of changes in your natural oral anatomy. Having the denture relined or adjusted can ensure that it fits comfortably throughout the day.

When you’re in pain

It’s important that issues like toothaches be attended to at your earliest convenience. Most types of dental infections will not resolve themselves on their own. Seeing your dentist sooner can eliminate unnecessary pain and provide an opportunity for more conservative (and affordable) treatment options.

What Can I Expect at a Dental Checkup?

When you see a new dentist for the first time — or it’s been a while since your last dental exam — you may be wondering what to expect at your appointment. Although each dental office is different than the next, your regular checkup will general consist of the same steps in some way or another, including: Tour of the Office: Many offices will take new patients for a quick walk through of their practice to see different rooms or

How Often Should You See a Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists are mid-level dental practitioners (similar to a Registered Nurse) who are licensed to provide therapeutic oral health services and screen for disease. You’ll see them during your “cleaning” appointments, even though they perform far more than just a cleaning. During your appointment with a dental hygienist you’ll be able to receive services such as: • Periodontal evaluation • Oral cancer screening • Medical screening • Prophylaxis • Soft tissue laser therapy for gum disease and cold sores •

What’s Involved in a “Cleaning?”

During a prophylactic (preventative) cleaning, your hygienist will use manual scalers and/or an ultrasonic scaler to loosen and remove both hard and soft buildup. The hygienist will typically work from different angles, cleaning surfaces of each teeth from that direction before moving to a different position and cleaning from those angles. This method is for ergonomic and efficiency purposes, but to the average person it can feel as if their hygienist is “skipping around” throughout their mouth. Once all of

What is a Digital Impression?

Throughout the country, many dental offices are limiting the number of dental impressions that they have to take, thanks to digital scanning technology. These “digital impressions” use CAD/CAM systems to capture 3D images and transfer them into a computer system, providing the software with a virtual model of your mouth. But how does digital impression technology change the way you see the dentist? Here are just a few reasons why this option offers a superior alternative to conventional impression trays:

How much radiation do I get from a dental x-ray?

If you’ve ever wondered why your dentist draped you in a lead apron and all of their staff step out of the room each time you need a dental X-ray, it’s normal to have some concern about the safety of the procedure. Fortunately, getting dental X-rays today is extremely safe, and the only reason your technician stands away from the machine, is because of the risk of gradual exposure that accumulates day after day throughout their career.

Do digital X-rays use lower amounts of radiation?

A digital X-ray requires less radiation to capture a high-resolution image than the traditional X-rays used a few decades ago. Depending on the type of film, equipment, and image being taken, it may be as much as a 90% reduction in exposure. As such, it’s safe to say that today’s dental X-rays are extremely safe. Compared to not getting dental X-rays, the tiny amount of radiation exposure is an important trade off. Why? Because diagnostic imaging allows dentists to see