Routine Dental Exams and Teeth Cleanings
When you schedule routine dental exams and teeth cleanings, you suffer less dental problems than those who avoid their dentist. Regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings help prevent serious health issues and catch emerging dental problems in their earliest stages.
Most people schedule semi-annual dental exams. People with chronic dental problems, severe gum disease or other oral conditions, may require dental appointments every three months. For your routine dental exam, we examine your teeth, gums, soft tissue, and jaw bones for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other issues, such as teeth grinding. Often teeth grinding is only discovered during routine dental exams.
Another issue that is often only detected during routine dental exams is cancer. Although rare, oral cancers are often aggressive. Early detection of oral cancers improves the chances of successful treatment.
X-rays During Dental Exams
An important component of routine dental exams are X-rays of your teeth and jaw, an important part of dental health care. With an x-ray, Dr. Killian can detect early signs of tooth decay not visible during a physical examination.
During the x-ray you'll be asked to bite down on a small piece of plastic to keep your teeth properly aligned. For the x-ray you'll wear a heavy apron over your chest to shield your body. The entire x-ray takes only a few minutes.
Preparing for Dental Exams
Most people don't need to make any special preparations for dental exams of teeth cleanings. Certain medical conditions may require that you take antibiotics prior to any dental work. You may need to take antibiotics before a dental appointment if any of the following conditions apply:
- An impaired immune system due to medication or health conditions
- Artificial body parts, such as hips or heart valves
- Heart conditions that increase the risk of endocarditis (inflammation of the heart lining)
- Major surgery in the weeks before your dental appointment
Before your dental exam, our office will ask you if any of these health conditions apply to you.
Regular teeth cleanings help prevent dental problems while improving the appearance of your teeth. We recommend you schedule a teeth cleaning appointment every six months.
During a teeth cleaning session, your dental technician uses a small metal tool to scrape plaque, or tartar, off tooth enamel. Plaque is a hard mineral substance that builds up on teeth over time, even with regular brushing and flossing. Teeth cleanings also clean any pockets in the gums to help prevent gum disease.
Once the plaque is removed, your teeth will be flossed and a polishing compound will be used to brighten your teeth and remove staining. Our office will also recommend changes to dental hygiene, including regular flossing and changes to brushing habits.
Unless tartar build up is severe, teeth cleanings usually take 40 minutes. If we detect any tender teeth or suspicious areas during cleaning, Dr. Killian will check those areas at the end of the teeth cleaning.
Dental Exams in Carlisle, PA
Call us today to schedule a dental exam or teeth cleaning. We offer the finest in dental care with a friendly, highly trained staff. Your dental health is too important to leave to chance.
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