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Even with a good oral hygiene routine, most people will experience tooth decay or gum disease at some point in their lives. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your chances. At David Crumpton, DDS, we recommend a professional cleaning and checkup exam about every six months. This, of course, is just a rule of thumb. Patients at a greater risk for dental diseases may need to schedule more frequent appointments. Those with pristine oral health may need less professional treatment.
Professional cleaning is an important part of your oral health. The biggest threat to your teeth and gums is the harmful bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is a thin biofilm that constantly forms on and around your teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will eventually calcify into a substance called tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. During your professional cleaning, our dental hygienist will remove all instances of plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. Once your teeth are clean, we will apply polish to restore the sheen of your smile.
In many cases, tartar can only be removed during a professional cleaning. We may use a tool known as an ultrasonic scaler, which is much safer and more effective than traditional hand tools. The ultrasonic scaler produces microscopic bubbles that implode on the surface of the enamel. The bubbles break up plaque and tartar deposits without damaging healthy enamel. They also kill off any remaining bacteria.
Learn more about the importance of professional cleanings.
During your routine appointment, Dr. Crumpton will perform a comprehensive examination of teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Besides a physical and visual exam, we may also utilize diagnostic tools such as x-rays and CBCT scans. Thanks to technological advancements, professional dentistry is largely preventative these days.
Tooth decay and gum disease are preventable with good oral hygiene, professional cleanings, and regular exams. An exam allows us to prevent or catch minor problems before they develop into major complications. If we do diagnose any problems, we may need to perform the restorative treatment. Your treatment will be less invasive and costly if we catch the problem earlier.
Learn more about comprehensive exams.
Oral Cancer Screenings
In many instances, we will perform an oral cancer screening during your routine exam. Screening is the best way to reassure you that there are no apparent problems related to oral cancer. We may recommend an oral cancer screening in response to your lifestyle choices, such as excessive drinking or smoking. Most of the time it is simply a precautionary measure.
More often than not, an oral cancer screening is a great opportunity for you to ask questions, and reduce your risk factors. If we notice any potential symptoms of oral cancer, we may recommend further testing or a biopsy. It is important to note that additional testing is not indicative of a cancer diagnosis. Additional testing is needed to reveal the root cause of a particular symptom. If cancer is ultimately found, early diagnosis drastically reduces related health problems later down the line.
Learn more about preventing oral cancer.
Hygiene for Older Adults
As you get older, your needs change. In addition to being at risk for experiencing certain health issues, you are also at a greater risk of experiencing oral health issues. While oral hygiene is crucial at every stage of life, it is especially important in your later years when you are at greater risk for serious issues, including tooth loss. At David Crumpton, DDS, we can help you to maintain your oral hygiene to keep your teeth, and your whole mouth, healthy.
Learn more about caring for your teeth as you get older.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
If you are in need of a professional cleaning or exam call 817-678-7395 and schedule your appointment today!