How often should you receive a dental checkup and cleaning?
You should obtain a dental checkup and professional cleaning every six months, according to the American Dental Association guidelines. Regular examinations ensure that your dentist catches oral health problems at an early stage so that he or she can correct them. Professional teeth cleaning creates a healthier oral environment, making your job of cleaning your teeth and gums at home that much easier.
What happens during a checkup?
One component of your dental checkup is a thorough visual inspection of your mouth. Dr. Truong will use a dental probe to detect any weak spots on your teeth that may indicate decay. Your dentist will use a periodontal probe to check for pockets in the gum tissues, which indicate the presence of gum disease. Digital X-rays and intraoral camera images may also be obtained. These readily-available images will remain in your electronic chart, and we can use them for comparison purposes to detect even the smallest changes in tooth wear and gum recession.
An oral cancer screening is a vital component of your dental exam, and because early detection increases your odds of surviving this deadly form of cancer, Dr. Truong has invested in advanced detection equipment. Using a handheld device that illuminates abnormal tissues, your dentist can spot even precancerous lesions in the oral cavity so that they can be removed promptly.
What happens during a professional teeth cleaning?
Dr. Truong takes a hands-on approach to dentistry, which includes performing her own cleanings. An important part of your cleaning is removal of tartar, which is formed when plaque, left behind by inadequate oral hygiene, mineralizes and hardens. This hard calculus makes cleaning your teeth even more difficult, which increases your risk of cavities. Tartar along the gum line is also destructive to your oral health, as it can weaken the attachment of the gums to the teeth, which can lead to gum disease. Once plaque has turned into tartar, it cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. Dr. Truong must remove this hard substance either manually using a dental tool, or with an ultrasonic scaler which is a device that breaks up tartar using a gentle vibration. If signs of gum disease are already present, your dentist can remove plaque, tartar, and debris from below the gumline ensuring clean periodontal pockets and smooth roots so that your gums can form a healthy reattachment to your teeth. Your dentist will then polish all tooth surfaces. The smoother the surface the more difficult for bacteria and plaque to adhere to your teeth.
Viva Dental in Dallas, TX, welcomes patients from North Oak Cliff, Bishop Arts District, Kessler Park, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, and nearby cities. Viva Dental in Richardson, TX, happily welcomes patients from North Dallas, Plano, Garland, and the surrounding communities. To learn more, contact the Viva Dental office nearest you. To schedule an appointment, call Viva Dental Family Dentistry at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson).