It is strongly recommended that a hygienist perform a dental cleaning every six months. This professional dental cleaning reinforces the home-care regimen of brushing and flossing and gives Dr. Jenkins an opportunity to locate areas in the mouth that may need special attention. Keeping your teeth healthy is about more than just making sure your smile looks beautiful. Your oral health is integral to your overall health and well-being
People who regularly practice good oral hygiene at home with proper brushing and flossing techniques typically do not experience discomfort during a cleaning. However, those who have neglected their oral hygiene habits may experience some discomfort or sensitivity during a dental cleaning.
During a dental cleaning, you’ll receive diagnostic and preventive services as well as any needed educational information.
Diagnostic services may include:
- Reviewing and updating medical history, including information about heart problems, pregnancy, diabetes and medications, which may have an impact on your oral health
- Oral cancer examination and screening
- Evaluation of gum tissue
- X-rays or examination of teeth to detect decay
Preventive services may include:
- Removal of plaque and tartar
- Stain removal
- Fluoride application
- Sealants for children and adults
- Polishing teeth
- Cleaning and adjustment of dentures and partial dentures
Educational services may include:
- Tooth brushing and flossing instructions
- Nutritional counseling
- Recommendations for future treatment: when to return for follow-up hygiene treatment, periodontal (gum) concerns or restorative options
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease exists when there has been bone destruction and/or tissue inflammation. If these have occurred, the effect is usually referred to as a “pocket. The gum measurement exam is performed on up to 168 sites along the teeth using a probe calibrated in millimeters. The degree of pocket depth determines the extent of the gum disease. Healthy gum tissue reads 1 to 3mm with no bleeding. 4mm or more with bleeding requires gum disease treatment. The range can go as high as 10+.
Most often, a patient can have severe gum disease with no symptoms at all. Some of the more common symptoms include: bleeding, bad breath or pain.
Depending on the range, most gum disease is treated non-surgically with a procedure called scaling and root planing. This can be done by a hygienist. Performed with local anesthetic, the goal of treatment is to control the damage of gum disease by removing the bacteria and deposits below the gum surface.
Gum disease is like high blood pressure in that there is maintenance, not a cure. Scaling and root planing followed by more frequent visits to keep the bacteria from building up again is the goal of non surgical gum treatment. In more severe cases with advanced pocketing of 6 and up, the patient may be referred to a gum specialist. Rarely, a localized surgical approach is needed.
Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment
This type of treatment is the most often performed for the majority of gum disease cases. As dictated by the American Association of Periodontologists, non-surgical gum disease treatment is the most effective form of therapy. It is utilized for a patient with 4 to 6mm pockets with bleeding.
This is accomplished under a local anesthesia. The hygienist uses specially shaped instruments to remove the tarter and bacteria deposits below the gum surface. The areas are then medicated with an antibiotic. The end goal is to obtain a smooth, clean, bacteria free root surface to allow for a reduction in the inflammation and reattachment of the surrounding tissue. By minimizing pocket depth allows for the patient to be more effective in home care to help keeping the build-up to a minimum holding the destructive effects in check.
These recommendations also include a proposed 3 month follow-up and a customized follow-up after that to suit the patient’s needs to keep the disease under control. It cannot be stressed enough that this type of disease is maintainable, not curable.
All of our x-rays are digital. This has quite a few advantages. There is considerably less radiation than the old chemically dipped paper films. Full mouth x-rays are equivalent to about a minute of exposure to the sun. Even at that, we use leaded apron and thyroid collar protection for those areas out of the field of examination.
Another advantage is that they are instant and able to be displayed on a monitor. This helps to make our treatments more efficient and allows for greater accuracy in their evaluation. They can be enlarged, lightened and darkened if needed. This makes it much easier for the patient to understand their conditions. They can also be stored in the patient’s chart on the computer making for a higher tech paperless record that can be accessed quickly and easily from anyone in the office.
Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean and free of disease and other problems by regular brushing and cleaning between the teeth. It is important that oral hygiene be carried out on a regular basis to enable prevention of dental disease and bad breath. The most common types of dental disease are tooth decay and gum diseases, including gingivitis, and periodontitis.
General guidelines suggest brushing twice a day: after breakfast and before going to bed, but ideally the mouth would be cleaned after every meal. Cleaning between the teeth by flossing is as important as tooth brushing. This is because a toothbrush cannot reach between the teeth and therefore only removes about 50% of plaque off the surface.
You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet
- Visiting the dentist regularly
Treatments take a lot less time than you think. Call Bluffton Dental Care today for your complimentary consultation!
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25 Clark Summit Dr. Suite 100
Bluffton, South Carolina 29910
Mon: 8:00am – 4pm
Tue: 8:00am – 4pm
Wed: 8:00am – 4pm
Thu: 8:00am – 4pm
Outstanding smiles from excellent dentistry!
Need quality cosmetic, general, and implant dentistry in Bluffton, Hilton Head, Beaufort, Savannah, and the surrounding communities? Contact Bluffton Dental Care and have your smile made over today!