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What Is a Thorough Dental Exam in Woodbridge?
One of the most important preventative dental services you can get at our office is a dental exam and cleaning. We urge everyone to have a thorough dental exam every six months to allow our dentist to catch small issues before they become painful, major problems. Most exams start out with x-rays, although you may not have x-rays taken before every exam as it isn’t necessary very often.
During your dental exam, your dentist will usually use a small instrument to check for:
- Cracked fillings or loose crowns
- Gum health
- Signs of bone loss
- Signs you grind your teeth at night
- Warning signs of oral cancer
After your exam, your dentist will answer any questions you have and discuss his or her findings with you. If there are issues, your dentist will suggest treatment options. If everything was fine, you’ll be asked to schedule your next routine checkup. If you have any questions about your insurance or payment methods, please ask our staff. We like to build long-term relationships with our patients so we can help them maintain proper oral health. Please call us to schedule your initial exam. We look forward to meeting you.
Who Should I See for Teeth Cleaning or Gum Disease Treatment?
Throughout the day, bacteria accumulates on your teeth, turning into a gelatinous substance called plaque. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends a dental cleaning twice a year to remove plaque and tartar, which is hardened plaque. Plaque and tartar contribute to cavities and gum disease, the two primary reasons for tooth loss in adults.
If you come to our office, you can receive a professional cleaning which will leave your teeth cleaner than tooth brushing and flossing at home. Our dental hygienist uses a series of special instruments to clean your teeth and scrape off hardened plaque. After your teeth are clean, they will polish them to remove surface staining. Your teeth will look brighter and feel smooth, which helps keep plaque from sticking to them. At this time, you can also ask your hygienist any questions you have about taking care of your teeth. The hygienist can recommend products or techniques which will make your oral care routine more effective.
We also treat gum disease at our office. If you have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, we can help you reverse the disease. Gingivitis is the inflation of your gums when plaque accumulates on your teeth, especially at the gumline. You may notice your gums are red, puffy and bleed easily when you brush your teeth. They may also hurt when you touch them. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, a more advanced form of gum disease. If this happens, we can offer periodontal treatment to stop the disease’s progression. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss as the disease eats away at the support structures which hold your teeth in place. Gingivitis does not always turn into periodontal disease, but everyone who has periodontal disease had gingivitis first.
Can a Dentist Cure My Chronic Bad Breath?
Our dentist can find the cause of your chronic bad breath or halitosis. Once you know what’s causing it, you won’t have to cover your breath up any longer. In most cases, it’s a simple matter of practicing better oral hygiene. Our dentist will suggest a professional cleaning so you start with a clean slate. The dental professional will also suggest products you can use to prevent plaque buildup, such as a tongue scraper or an antibacterial mouthrinse. Antibacterial toothpastes and mouthrinses kill germs that cause chronic bad breath instead of simply covering it up. Gum disease can also cause bad breath; our dentist will perform an exam to check for any untreated dental diseases. If you have chronic bad breath, call our office today to schedule an appointment.
Will I Have an Oral Cancer Screening During My Routine Exam?
Yes, we recommend all our adult patients get screened every time they have their six-month checkup. Early detection usually means better treatment outcomes. Smokers, individuals who use alcohol in excess, and people 50 years of age and older are the most at-risk; however, we screen everyone because people in non-risk demographics also develop oral cancer. Incidents of HPV-based oral cancers are on the rise. There are also individuals with no risk factors who develop oral cancer. A screening takes less than five minutes and it isn’t painful. Your dentist will visually inspect your oral cavity and feel for lumps. Be sure to mention any unusual symptoms you may experience, including sores that don’t heal, difficulty swallowing, or a change in your bite.
If you would like a comprehensive dental exam in Woodbridge by an experienced dentist, please call our office to schedule your initial exam.