What is a Dental Cleaning and Checkup?
Preventative dental visits have two parts: a checkup (exam) as well as the teeth cleaning. However, this visit is often simply referred as a “teeth cleaning.” The checkup portion of the visit can include taking a 3D scan of your teeth, x-ray images, photographs, evaluating for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. The cleaning portion of the visit can include removing plaque and tartar, reducing bacteria in your gums, and polishing teeth.
Dental checkups and cleanings are done not only to protect oral health, but they also serve to protect the overall health of your body. For example, if someone gets periodontal disease in their gums, it can spread bacteria to the rest of their body causing more issues. Identifying and treating these issues before they cause a lot of problems in the future can prevent needing more treatment as well as saving money.
When to Have a Dental Checkup and Teeth Cleaning?
Dental checkups and cleanings are scheduled at regular intervals depending on the specific needs of each person. Most people with a healthy mouth will have a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. However, if someone has gum disease they may need to be seen more often. Dr. Cha and our hygienist will work with you to determine a personalized schedule for dental checkup and cleaning appointments.
Steps of a Teeth Cleaning
If this will be your first visit to our Greenwood Village office, we will need your contact information, insurance information, and your medical history. During this intake phase we learn about you so that we can provide the best care for you.
Your temperature, blood pressure, and medical history are reviewed at each checkup. An oral cancer screening and airway assessment are also done at each checkup. Photographs and x-ray images are taken as needed. On average, x-ray images are taken annually to look for any changes or teeth problems. Sometimes we use a 3D scanner to look at how your teeth fit together; with this technology we can also simulate how it would look to straighten your teeth.
At each checkup visit, the spaces between your gums and your teeth are gently measured to check for infections and to see if there are areas you cannot clean yourself. Deeper areas between your gums and your teeth that you cannot keep clean harbor bacteria that can lead to teeth loss and other health problems. Our hygienist will let you know if they see any areas like this in your mouth and discuss with you how to treat these areas.
After your teeth are carefully and thoroughly cleaned, Dr Cha will use the information that our hygienist gathered with 3D scans, x-ray images, photographs, and gum measurements to determine if you need additional care with him. He will answer any questions you may have about your teeth and gums.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Also referred to as gum disease or periodontitis, periodontal disease is an infection of gum tissue and loss of bone around teeth. It is caused by bacteria trapping under the gumline. Symptoms can include gums that bleed, teeth that shift out of place over time, receding gums, and breath odor.
If you have periodontal disease it requires professional treatment. If not treated properly it can cause both bone loss and the loss of teeth.
After you get periodontal disease, you will always have it. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to practice good oral hygiene at home and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
Also referred to as deep cleaning, this is how gum disease is treated. It is a non-surgical procedure where teeth are thoroughly cleaned below the gum line. Anesthetic is used to make sure you are comfortable. A soft tissue laser can be used during this procedure to remove more bacteria and to speed up the healing process. Periodontal cleanings take more time than a healthy-mouth cleaning, usually one to two hours.
soft tissue laser for treating periodontal disease
Soft Tissue Laser
Lasers are starting to be more common in dentistry. Soft tissue lasers can be used at any appointment to reduce bacteria in your gums, and during periodontal cleanings to remove diseased non-healing tissue. Most dental offices do not have soft tissue lasers, so we are very fortunate to have one at Hampden Dental Loft.
Why you Should Choose our Office in Greenwood Village for Dental Exams and Cleanings?
Our hygienist is the best and we are proud to have her on our team. She is very gentle and does terrific work. You can be sure that she will provide great care during your cleanings and create a great experience for you. Call us today at 303-930-8828 to schedule your appointment.