“WHAT CAN I EXPECT?”
Lost teeth and cavities are much more common than you might think. And we are here to help.
When you visit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for an exam and cleaning, you can expect a comprehensive 90-minute appointment. We take the time needed to thoroughly assess your dental health and provide you with all the necessary information. You’ll leave feeling confident about your well- being and the excellent care you received. Your dental exam and cleaning include:
- Time with your dentist to discuss your health and any concerns you have
- Gentle and thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth
- Full dental exam, including gum health evaluation
- X-rays (when needed) to help our dentists monitor and assess your oral health
- Customized treatment plan to address any issues we find
If you’re seeing us for the first time, your new patient dental cleaning and exam will take around 90 minutes.
A dental cleaning includes scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment
These three important steps are outlined in detail below:
We remove plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces using different scaling methods based on the buildup. Stubborn deposits may need multiple visits, similar to removing long-term grime from a stove. The number of visits with Dr. Melissa depends on the extent of periodontitis or gum disease. Localized cases can be treated in one session, while widespread cases may require several visits.
Polishing is achieved with a slow-speed handpiece using a soft rubber cup spinning with prophy (short for prophylaxis) paste, a gritty toothpaste-like material. This process leaves teeth clean, smooth, and shiny, preventing bacteria from adhering to them and improving at-home oral care. Ultimately, your teeth will feel lovely, smooth, and clean after scaling and polishing.
This is the final step of dental cleaning. Fluoride is applied to strengthen teeth weakened by acids from bacteria in tartar and plaque. We offer various fluoride options, including Fluoride Varnish, which is quick, pleasant-tasting, and doesn't disrupt your daily routine. At-Home Fluoride is also available for patients with sensitivity, dry mouth, or a high decay rate. Feel free to ask Dr. Melissa about the best fluoride option for you.
"MY TEETH ARE SENSITIVE. CAN YOU PROVIDE ANY ASSISTANCE?"
Yes! We offer various treatments for sensitive teeth. If you experience sensitivity, inform Dr. Melissa to determine the cause. Cold sensitivity to foods like ice cream is common, but hot temperature sensitivity is not.
Localized sensitivity may indicate a single tooth issue, while generalized sensitivity could be due to teeth clenching or gum recession. We provide treatments such as prescription fluoride pastes, gels, rinses, and laser desensitization using our Picasso Dental Laser. Fillings may be necessary for some cases, and extreme sensitivity might indicate a cracked root. Rest assured, we’ll prioritize your comfort throughout any treatment.
Oral Cancer Screening
We prioritize continuous monitoring of oral health, including regular examination of gums and tissue for any abnormalities. To screen for oral cancer, we use methods like ViziLite Plus, a painless and easy way to detect early tissue changes. This screening is recommended for patients with risk factors such as tobacco use, a history of HPV, or certain age groups. If we find any abnormalities, we may take an intra-oral photo and schedule a follow-up visit after two weeks. In many cases, lesions disappear, possibly caused by a scratch, bite, or burn in the mouth. If the lesion persists, a biopsy will be performed.
See you soon!
“DO I NEED A CLEANING EVERY 6 MONTHS?”
Generally speaking, yes, we recommend most of our patients see us about 2x a year for a dental exam and cleaning. But life happens and people get busy so we never judge if you fall a bit behind on your checkups. And some people do need a little extra attention, so if you’ve suffered from gum disease or tooth decay in the past, we may recommend you come see us a bit more often.
More than anything, we’re here to help. You deserve to develop a great relationship with a dentist you trust. So come see us at Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for a cleaning and exam.