Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. It’s a critical part of your oral health and something we recommend to all of our patrons. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain proper and optimal health.
Regular Dental Checkups
A dental checkup provides us with the opportunity to examine your oral health and monitor any changes that have occurred since your last visit. There are a variety of things a regular dental checkup could include, all of which are critical pieces to your oral health.
Our dental checkup appointments begin with a full examination to provide us a basic overview of your current dental health. We will look carefully to detect any cavities, tooth decay or signs of gum disease. We then conduct a professional cleaning that eliminates any plaque, bacteria and other buildups on the teeth. This process begins with using dental equipment to scrape away accumulations on the teeth and gum line. Then we clean and polish the teeth to address any surface stains and provide a long-lasting sensation of freshness. We also do an oral cancer check on a regular basis to ensure we catch any diseases as early as possible. We check your face, tongue, throat gums and other soft oral tissues for any signs of risk or disease.
Occasionally on visits, we will use digital X-rays to obtain a detailed view of your oral structure and detect any conditions that may be hidden beneath the surface such as internal decay, periodontitis, jawbone deterioration, cysts, and oral cancer. We also conduct these efficiently, so any discomfort is minimized, and we share the images with you if it’s necessary.
Why is regular teeth cleaning important?
While dental emergencies can strike anyone, our patients who commit to regular preventive care present with significantly fewer problems over time. Professional cleanings with a registered dental hygienist allow us to bring a blend of proactive efforts to you. Deposits of mineralized plaque, known as tartar, adhere to certain areas of the teeth, even with your best efforts. These deposits offer suitable housing for millions of harmful bacteria to reside. Left unchecked, they produce a flood of toxins into the gums. This frequently cascades into devastating chronic problems, even resulting in loss of the teeth.
When you visit us periodically, we can gently remove the deposits from the tooth surfaces. Without sitting undisturbed, bacterial tartar doesn’t have the same opportunity to produce irreversible damage. Furthermore, we use professional-strength polishing paste that gently buffs away stain and microscopic plaque, leaving your teeth ultra-smooth and shiny. Since discoloration settles into the enamel of your teeth over time, this helps slow yellowing while maintaining a glassy surface for better cleansing.
What is an oral cancer screening?
Every time we provide care, we’re observing many different aspects of your overall health. Most people are surprised at the large amount of surface area that lines the mouth. While this lining repairs itself quickly, it is susceptible to changes that may require monitoring or further evaluation.
Oral cancer can afflict anyone although tobacco users put themselves at significantly higher risk than non-users. Chewing tobacco contains up to 3000 different chemicals, including the same compounds used in pesticides and embalming fluid. Cellular changes below the surface aren’t always detectable until they’ve advanced to a critical stage.
However, early detection and treatment of oral cancer significantly increases the chance of a positive outcome. The American Cancer Society reports that about 7,000 deaths result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually. If we suspect any unusual changes in your mouth tissue, we may suggest a biopsy and microscopic analysis by a qualified lab.
Many other non-cancerous changes can occur in your mouth’s tissue, from oral warts to autoimmune lesions.
As a side note, we understand tobacco holds powerful addictive powers over many health-conscious people. If you’re determined to quit, we want to be a supportive partner in your efforts. Talk to your hygienist or dentist about strategies and resources for kicking the habit.
Why are brushing and flossing important?
We all know brushing and flossing make our mouth feel great. But, brushing and flossing do more than freshen breath – they physically disrupt the complex network of bacteria called a biofilm. It’s important to disrupt and remove the sticky film so diseases like cavities and gum disease are less likely to happen. There are a lot of products on the market that claim they are the best. Make sure to talk about the options with your hygienist to get the best recommendation.
And as you know, it is important to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, and floss once. If you have a hard time remembering to floss, connect it with a daily activity you always do. You can floss in the shower or while driving to work!
How much does a teeth cleaning cost?
We aim to provide high-quality dental care that’s affordable for our patients in Chelmsford, MA. A dental exam and teeth cleaning are separate costs, both listed below. Out of pocket cost for any procedure depends on your insurance coverage at the time of the procedure.
- Dental Exam: $65-$150
- Teeth Cleaning: $104-$125
What are you waiting for?
At Drum Hill Dental, we believe in providing the best dental care at the most affordable prices. Make your next appointment using our easy online scheduling tool, contact our office if you have any questions, or explore all of the dental services we provide.