What is a Dental Cleaning? (A Dental Check-up)
During the dental check-up, there are a few different steps that are standard during this basic appointment. Your dentist’s main goal is to ensure the health of your mouth and teeth along with the health of your gums and the aesthetics of your smile. Check out the steps below for a detailed breakdown of what could happen during your dental checkup.
1. Your dentist will first perform a number of x-rays in your mouth from every angle to ensure there is no underlying issue happening that can be messed with the naked eye. The dental professional will lay a lead apron on top or vest on top of your chest in order to avoid the x-ray camera from picking up anything other than your mouth. This form of x-ray machine in today’s time is not unhealthy but can be if it is performed more than a few times a year. Twice a year is great!
2. Next, your dentist or even dental hygienist will check your teeth for any signs of gum disease. This is done by using a special dental tool that will scrape the edges of teeth to check for any signs of bleeding, redness, and plaque build up. If your dental professional notices that there is a slight form of gum disease the tartar buildup will need to be removed immediately to stop the bacteria from spreading. This is usually done by scaling the teeth with a professional dental tool that will scrape the tartar buildup from above and below the gum line. A local anesthetic can be used to numb the needed areas to ensure the patient doesn’t feel pain.
3. Your dentist will now start the regular cleaning. The dental professional will likely use an ultrasonic scaler that will remove any tartar or plaque buildup between your teeth and around your gum line. Sometimes patients feel a form of sensitivity during this process; this is extremely normal. If the sensitivity gets to be too much, you should communicate this with your dentist, and he or she can adjust the tool to ensure less pain as felt.
4. Professional brushing is finished, the dental professional will polish your teeth with a special polishing paste that will be brushed on each tooth, one by one. This will help protect the enamel as well as provide another layer of brushing to ensure a deep clean for your teeth.
5. Next, the dentist will floss your teeth using the old-fashioned way of flossing. During the step, your dentist will go over some tips on how to help floss your teeth at home. In order to do this, the dentist will likely hand you a mirror so that you can see what the dentist is doing in real-time. If you notice any bleeding during this flossing session, the dentist will likely tell you that you need to pay more attention to those areas as they are more sensitive because of more plaque buildup. If you have any questions about how to floss, simply ask the dentist, and here she will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
6. Usually, after the dental cleaning, #5 would have been the last step. If the dentist noticed anything negative in your x-rays, this will be discussed after your dental cleaning. For example, if you have a cavity in a tooth, your dentist will recommend having a root canal therapy procedure done immediately in order to stop the spread of bacteria. If you allow the cavity go without being treated, the bacteria can spread and the tooth might not be able to be saved at a later time and will need to be extracted.
It’s extremely important to listen to your dentist if he or she recommends a tooth extraction, a root canal therapy, or any other sort of procedures to ensure the health of your mouth. If you allow any issue to be left untreated, the dental issues will almost always get worse and will need major procedures to reverse these issues at a later date. If you’re worried about pain, talk to your dentist about using a local anesthetic, or even a form of sedation that can help ease your pain during these procedures. If you’re worried about finances, your dentist will be happy to go over different payment plans to ensure you feel content and happy with the out-of- pocket costs. If you have dental insurance, some if not all of these costs could be covered!