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Dental Check-up & Cleaning

Why are regular dental check-ups & cleanings important?

Typically, a dental check-up for a new patient will include an exam, x-rays, and teeth cleaning. Although most people are familiar with professional teeth cleanings, few realize that it is a critical part of preventing tooth decay and maintaining oral health. Dental cleanings are important to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Even with proper brushing and flossing at home, most people still develop small amounts of tartar and plaque in hard to reach areas. Once tartar has calcified onto the teeth, normal home care cannot remove it. The periodic professional removal of this tartar allows patients to maintain optimum oral health on their own through brushing and flossing.

There are several types of exams your dentist may perform, depending on when you had your last visit and what, if any, symptoms you are exhibiting. The most common exams are a comprehensive exam, a periodic exam and a limited oral exam.

Dental x-rays are the most important tool available to a dentist for accurate and timely diagnosis of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Dental x-rays provide a view of the tooth structure below the gumlines and between the teeth that is not visible during a routine dental exam. This allows for early detection and thus early intervention. The sooner decay and disease can be treated, the greater the chance of preventing the need for more advanced and costlier treatments down the road.