ou may feel it isn’t really necessary to see a dentist because you don’t see or feel any dental problems. Since you brush and floss to prevent cavities and gum disease, you believe that should be good enough, without going to the bother of the recommended twice-yearly checkup. You may be part of a third of all Americans who do not get a dental exam even once a year.
Unfortunately, very serious dental problems can get out of control without you feeling any pain and the cost in time and money to fix them late in their development is a lot more than prevention. Very few of us grew up being taught just how carefully cleaning the gums and teeth needs to be done in order to remove the tiny food particles that will otherwise develop into a sticky film called plaque, which will silently eat away at the gums.
Whatever the particular dental problem that might have progressed without causing pain, it will eventually arrive with a vengeance, whether from a big cavity, a dead tooth root that needs to be cleaned out on an emergency basis, or a tooth that needs to be surgically removed.
The good news is that having a professional cleaning twice a year is likely to prevent dental problems from getting out of control. Our dental hygienist has the tools and techniques that will do a far better job of removing plaque than you ever could (especially if it has hardened into tartar). She will start by using an instrument to probe into the gums around each tooth to detect any pockets where an infection is deeper than 4mm.
If there are some that need deep cleaning, then after a normal professional cleaning of the teeth above the gum line, she will numb the problem areas and peel back the gums to scrape (“scale”) the tartar off each tooth. Then the roots below that main part of each tooth will be “planed.” After scaling and planing, it may be recommended that you have the hygienist spray an anti-bacterial solution into the gums to ensure the infection will be stopped.
If there is evidence, either from an x-ray or the hygienist’s observation, that the infection has reached into the jawbone, Dr. Doostan will discuss having a bone graft to keep teeth from falling out.
Call Healthy Smiles Premier Dental now to set up a full examination and find out if you need a deep cleaning. Prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.
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