Dental Exams & Cleanings
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by one of our experienced Boston dentists at your initial visit. At regular check-up exams with your dentist and hygienist, you can expect the following:
- Examination of diagnostic X-rays: Dental X-rays help determine tooth and root positions and are essential for the detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.
- Oral cancer screening: We check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: We check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: We check current fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations to ensure there are no problems requiring repair or replacement.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings are performed by our registered Boston dental hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is the hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for a while and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums and this inflammation is the start of periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: Cleaning appointments conclude with teeth polishing to remove stains and plaque that are not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are regular dental exams and cleanings important?
A: Regular dental exams and cleanings are important for maintaining good oral health. These appointments allow the dentist to assess your teeth and gums, detect any oral health issues early on, and customize a preventive care plan tailored to your needs.
Q: What happens during a dental exam?
A: During a dental exam, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums, looking for any signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems. They may also take X-rays to get a more detailed view of your teeth and jaw.
Q: How often should I have a dental exam?
A: It is generally recommended to have a dental exam every six months. However, your dentist may suggest more frequent visits if you have certain oral health issues or if you are at a higher risk for dental problems.
Q: What is the purpose of dental cleanings?
A: Dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are essential for removing plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and gums. This helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
Q: Are dental exams and cleanings painful?
A: Dental exams and cleanings are usually painless. The dentist and dental hygienist will use gentle techniques and numbing agents to ensure your comfort during the procedures.
Q: How long does a dental exam and cleaning appointment take?
A: The duration of a dental exam and cleaning appointment can vary depending on the individual’s oral health and the specific procedures needed. On average, it may take around 60 to 90 minutes.
Q: Can dental exams and cleanings help prevent oral health problems?
A: Yes, dental exams and cleanings play a crucial role in preventing oral health problems. They allow the dentist to identify and address issues early on, before they become more serious and require more extensive treatment.
Q: What are the benefits of regular dental exams and cleanings?
A: Regular dental exams and cleanings help maintain your oral health, prevent tooth decay and gum disease, detect oral health issues early on, freshen your breath, and keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Q: Should children have regular dental exams and cleanings?
A: Yes, children should also have regular dental exams and cleanings. Early dental visits can help establish good oral hygiene habits and detect any potential issues that may affect their oral health.
Q: How can I maintain my oral health between dental visits?
A: To maintain your oral health between dental visits, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, eat a balanced diet, limit sugary snacks and drinks, and avoid tobacco products.