Keeping your teeth clean and free from plaque by brushing and flossing every day goes a long way towards a healthier smile and better oral health, however it is not enough by itself. At least every six months you should schedule an appointment with our dental office in order to get a professional cleaning. There are two types of cleanings that a dentist will preform, a standard dental cleaning and a deep cleaning. The difference between the two is that the deep cleaning will involve a more extensive cleaning procedure that will go further under the gumline. While it is not necessary to have a deep cleaning performed each time you visit the dentist, the deep cleaning should be considered roughly once per year or on special situations where your dentist suggests it.
A standard dental cleaning will utilize professional-level tools in order to remove tartar and plaque from your teeth and under your gumlines. These tools are small and powerful rotary tools and water sprayers that deliver concentrated surface contact to your teeth. This concentration of water or the abrasive cleaning tools will loosen the tartar that is stuck to your teeth which your toothbrush will not remove by itself. The professional cleaning that is delivered by our dental staff will help to prevent cavities and lengthen the lifespan of your teeth and gums.
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the newest form of x-ray technology and is considered safer than traditional dental x-rays. It is important to understand that a new set of x-rays is suggested each time you have a dental check up, as it allows the dentist and technician to understand what is going on below the gumlines and inside of your mouth in areas that cannot be seen by a visual inspection.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Are dental x-rays safe?
Natural radiation is all around us in the environment, and though dental x-rays do expose you to a very low level of radiation in their processing, they are considered safe and will not increase the exposure level to an unsafe status. The benefits of the x-rays far outweigh the small amount of radiation that you are exposed to, and the new process that is utilized by this office makes the amount of time that is necessary to spend at the dentist office a minimal one as there is no need for developing of the images.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.