What’s The Point of Dental Cleanings and Exams?

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If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. And you’ve heard it more than once. It’s important to see your dentist and get your teeth cleaned regularly. You know you know. But do you know why?

What are the benefits of dental exams?

The primary benefit of regular dental exams near you is that your dentist will thoroughly examine each surface in your mouth and look for any early indications of tooth decay, gum disease or other medical issues. Even if no such symptoms are present, your dentist will focus on preventative measures to keep your mouth healthy. If, on the other hand, there are indications of emerging problems, your dentist will act quickly to deal with the issues while dealing with them is simple and inexpensive.

Your dentist’s examination of your mouth looks for more than tooth decay and gum disease. You’ll also be screened for the presence of any irregular tissues that may indicate the presence of oral cancer. Early detection of oral cancer remarkably increases long-term survival rates because it enables early intervention before the disease has spread.

Your dentist will also keep an eye (nose?) out for halitosis (bad breath). Sure, it could be a simple nuisance or source of embarrassment, but it’s also a potential indication of health conditions such as thrush, lung issues or even diabetes. Your dentist will also ask you a series of questions to screen you for a wide range of medical conditions including sleep apnea, sleep bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders. All of these conditions involve the mouth and jaw to some extent and can affect your general health and lifestyle significantly. If your conversation reveals the existence of risk factors or symptoms of these conditions, your dentist will offer treatment and refer you specialists for further consultation if appropriate.

What are the benefits of dental cleanings?

Dental cleanings in Okotoks are so important that they have a fancy medical name — oral prophylaxis. Plaque can linger on unseeable and unreachable surfaces of your teeth no matter how diligently you brush and floss at home. Your dentist in Okotoks can see and reach those surfaces to remove plaque you can’t. If tartar has developed on your teeth due to the ongoing presence of plaque, a dentist near you can get rid of that tartar before it fuels progressive tooth decay. Tartar can’t be removed at home; only dentists have the tools to do that.

Your dentist can perform deeper cleanings called root scaling below your gum line to remove any plaque that has accumulated there. Scaling is necessary to prevent the progress of gum disease that will gradually destroy gum tissue and cause loose teeth — and even tooth loss if not eliminated. Keep in mind that deep cleanings (including scaling and another procedure called root planing) are not part of a standard dental cleaning. Professional cleanings is primarily a preventative treatment; Deep cleanings are part of a treatment plan to respond to periodontal disease (gum disease that has progressed beyond minor gingivitis).

While professional cleanings are not the same as whitening, your dentist’s cleaning implements and substances will do a far better job of removing stains and deposits from your teeth than you can do with your toothbrush. Your teeth won’t be whitened per se, but they’ll be a lot whiter and brighter than before the appointment began. If you do want your teeth whitened, ask your dentist about the types of teeth whitening services they offer.

If you don’t have a regular dentist who you see regularly for thorough dental check-ups and professional cleanings, you’re putting your health and appearance at risk. To stop taking those unnecessary risks, reach out to a dentist near you today to schedule an appointment to get back on track.