Professional Teeth Cleanings
Having a professional teeth cleaning at least every six months can improve your dental health according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). A professional cleaning removes bacteria, helps to reinforce your home care of regular brushing and flossing and gives your dentist the opportunity to locate any issues in your mouth that might need additional attention.
The first step in most cleanings is a visual exam of your entire mouth. The dental hygienist will use a small mirror to check your teeth and gums for any signs of inflammation, plaque or tartar. Next, the hygienist will use a scaler to remove any plaque and tartar around the gum line and between your teeth. After any tartar is removed, your hygienist will brush your teeth with a high-powered electric brush. Finally, you will receive an expert flossing between every tooth.
Velscope is a oral cancer screening device to aid in the early detection of oral cancer. It allows Dr. Coe to more accurately detect oral cancer than through the visual exam that he performs every cleaning. The Velscope Hand piece emits a safe, visible blue light into the oral cavity which excites the mucosal tissue and causes it to generate its own light (its fluoresces). In the light, healthy tissue shows up as a brighter green color, while suspicious tissue can cause a loss of fluorescence, which thus may appear darker.
This allows Dr. Coe to evaluate for cancer below the tissue level and discover potential problems early. This technology had been proven to be very effective, and is recommended once per year by the ADA.
When X-rays pass through your mouth during a dental exam, more X-rays are absorbed by the denser parts (such as teeth and bone) than by soft tissues (such as cheeks and gums) before striking the film. This creates an image on the radiograph. Teeth appear lighter because fewer X-rays penetrate to reach the film. Cavities and gum disease appear darker because of more X-ray penetration. The interpretation of these X-rays allows the dentist to safely and accurately detect hidden abnormalities.
How often dental X-rays (radiographs) should be taken depends on the patient`s individual health needs. It is important to recognize that just as each patient is different from the next, so should the scheduling of X-ray exams be individualized for each patient. Your medical and dental history will be reviewed and your mouth examined before a decision is made to take X-rays of your teeth.
The schedule for needing radiographs at recall visits varies according to your age, risk for disease and signs and symptoms. Recent films may be needed to detect new cavities, or to determine the status of gum disease or for evaluation of growth and development. Children may need X-rays more often than adults. This is because their teeth and jaws are still developing and because their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults.
Remember to visit us for a checkup every six months to help keep your mouth healthy! Call us today at (770) 824-8904 to make an appointment.