Teeth Cleaning & Dental Checkups

There are many ways you can play an active role in maintaining your oral health. Having your teeth cleaned in our office every six months is an excellent place to start. Our hygienists and dentists identify plaque and problem areas before thoroughly cleaning your teeth, providing you with information to sustain a happy, healthy smile.

Why is it important to have consistent teeth cleanings and checkups?

Routine checkups are an essential part of proper oral hygiene. Some of the benefits of regular teeth cleanings include:

  • Healthier bones and gums.
  • Longer lasting teeth.
  • Early detection of caries and possible infection.
  • Early detection and treatment of cancer and other oral health conditions.
  • Beautiful, healthy smiles.

What happens when we miss teeth cleanings?

Failure to keep up on proper oral hygiene can lead to:

  • An impaired ability to eat and digest foods, leading to nutritional and systemic problems.
  • Bad breath, resulting from advancing periodontal disease and/or rotting food particles.
  • Negative effects on cardiovascular well-being and overall health.
  • Teeth and gum infections.

What to Expect at Your First Checkup

A woman receiving a dental check up after her teeth cleaningOur dental cleaning appointments are about an hour-long, and new patient visits typically last a bit longer. We take pride in getting to know each of our patients, tailoring treatments to the health needs and goals of every individual. Here’s what to expect the first time you come to our office:

  • Dental History—A hygienist will gather dental and medical histories so that we have a clear picture of your current health, including any medical conditions that can impact dental treatment.
  • Digital X-rays—We take digital x-rays as diagnostic material for your comprehensive oral exam. If you have had x-rays taken within the last 12 months, please have them sent to our office. If you are unable to have x-rays taken, please inform the hygienist as you give your medical history.
  • Oral Screening and Teeth Exams—At each visit an oral cancer screening will be performed to check for any suspicious areas. Then we will examine each tooth for fractures, cracks and decay. 
  • Gum Evaluation and Teeth Cleanings—Our hygienist will evaluate your gums, measuring periodontal pockets with a probe, and clean your teeth by identifying and removing areas of tartar, plaque, and calculus.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Plan—Dr. McBride or Dr. Furman will then evaluate all the diagnostic information collected by the hygienist and discuss any areas of concern.  A treatment plan will be discussed and explained to you in a way that you can understand. Our doctors are happy to answer any questions you may have about your care. 
  • Oral Hygiene Habits—We end your visit by reviewing and reinforcing proper oral hygiene.

Are there different kinds of teeth cleanings?

No. Prophylaxis—a fancy word for teeth cleaning—is the only dental procedure of its kind. Prophylaxis involves a routine teeth cleaning every six months.

The procedures that are sometimes called “cleanings” are actually periodontal treatments:

  • Scaling and Root Planing—a deep cleaning for those with varying stages of gum disease. Periodontal disease is the loss of the bone and gum structure surrounding your teeth. Scaling and root planing is the process of removing calculus and bacteria that live under the gums. 
  • Perio Maintenance—a periodontal cleaning for those with a history of gum disease.

During your appointment a hygienist will evaluate the health of your gums to determine if you have periodontal disease.