Checkup and Cleaning – Dental Hygiene
Typically your first visit at Artista Dental Studio will be for a routine checkup and cleaning. After being greeted by the staff and filling out the proper paperwork, you will be brought into the Hygiene room for your cleaning. If needed, Dental x-rays will be taken and evaluated. The dentist will then administer a comprehensive exam. At this time a detailed treatment plan tailored to your specific needs will be presented to you. It will also include the timetable in which you should return for your next cleaning and exam.
Digital X-rays of the Mouth Are Taken
Digital x-rays are a significant improvement over older film radiographs. Not only are the results faster, but they offer a clearer and more detailed picture in order to see things the naked eye cannot. Not only can we see cavities in teeth, but bone loss in teeth or jaw, cysts / abscess, poor root positioning and tumors in the gums / jaw allowing us to uncover a variety of dental health issues before they become a significant issue minimizing waiting for the problem to occur with pain to diagnose an issue. Additionally, digital x-rays use far less radiation than traditional radiographs, limiting a patient’s exposure to radiation over time. Overall it is the safest way to help the diagnosis of our patients.
Cleaning the Teeth by a Professional
Professional teeth cleanings, also known as dental prophylaxis, can be performed by our dental hygienist or our dentist. The use of dental instruments such as hand scalers, polishers and the cavitron help remove not only stains, but plaque and calculus. Here is what to expect while having your teeth cleaned.
- Plaque Removal : Plaque is made up of tiny particles of food that are broken down and dissolved into saliva mixed with bacteria. It’s a living film of material that sticks to the surface of teeth and sits at the gumline. The bacteria from plaque irritates the gums, which is the beginning of periodontal disease and should be addressed promptly.
- Calculus Removal : Calculus is a buildup of plaque that is not successfully removed through brushing and flossing, it is left on the teeth for extended periods,hardens and becomes stuck to the teeth. Calculus can only be removed properly with the use of professional dental equipment.
- Dental Polishing : This is the part of the cleaning wear a paste is applied to the dental handpiece and rubbed along the surfaces of the teeth removing any last bit of plaque or stain left behind. Typically this polish can be a variety of different flavors and mimics the brushing of teeth.
- Periodontal (Gums) Probing and Evaluation : During this procedure, you will be checked for any indications of periodontal (gum) disease that may be present. The bones surrounding the teeth and the gums are searched thoroughly. Measurements will be taken to help determine the presence of gum disease, rate the severity of gum disease if present and help come up with a proper dental treatment plan.
Comprehensive Exam with the Dentist
In conjunction with the dental hygienist, the dentist will examine all of the recorded data from the cleaning, evaluate the oral tissue and check the teeth and x-rays for any abnormalities which need to be treated. This includes:
- Tooth Decay Check : The dentist uses dental instruments to detect the presence of decay in teeth. X-rays are also consulted during this process.
- Gum Disease Assessment : Using the measurements given by the hygienist, the dentist will evaluate the x-rays and gums to determine if there are any conditions that need attention. A customized treatment plan will be made if needed to help.
- Oral Cancer Screening: Gums, tissues, lips, throat, tongue, neck and face will all be checked for any signs of oral cancer. If there is any question or concern by the dentist or patient, a biopsy may be performed to determine the nature of the abnormality present. Most common irritations in the mouth are easily diagnosed at the time of the exam if present.
- Cosmetic and Symmetry Assessment : Frequently a patient may have personal goals for their smile. The dentist may bring up some ideas during the exam or they can be brought up specifically by the patient. These assessments can be informal initially during the dental checkup and then turn into a detailed cosmetic presentation and plan if the patient would like more information. Additional details can be found on our Cosmetic Dentistry Page.
- Orthodontic and Bruxism Assessment : Tooth placement in the jaw is important not only for the cosmetic aspect of having straight teeth, but to see how the top and bottom teeth correlate to each other forming the bite. Many times there are simple ways for a dentist to see if the patient is clenching or grinding their teeth known as Bruxism. It can occur in times of stress or and a habitual movement of which they are unaware. These stresses and strains can be modified by an appliance or by modifying the teeth into more optimal positions. For more information see our Mouthguard Page.
Planning and Scheduling
After your visit, we will be sure to review your treatment plan for your upcoming dental work and properly appoint you. However, if no additional treatment is needed, we will set you up for your follow up cleaning. Typical dental cleanings should be done every 6 months, but at times we will suggest a more frequent cleaning schedule. We are adept at helping you get the dental insurance coverage for these additional visits.
We look forward to seeing you and helping you either achieve or just maintain your smile.