Dental Cleanings, Exams & Checkups
Proper oral hygiene is one of the most important foundations of your overall health. In order to reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease, most dentists recommend having a professional dental cleaning and exam every six months, in addition to proper daily oral hygiene. Not only will your teeth look and feel great, you can be assured that our team aims to provide the most comprehensive dental treatment to all our patients.
At Red Oak Family Dentistry, we offer a complete range of dental care services to help you achieve optimum oral health. During your routine cleaning and exam, you will notice that our dental hygienists are highly skilled and their goal is to keep each patient comfortable, informed and educated. Our hygienists will remove plaque, tartar and stains that have accumulated on your teeth and we offer digital x-rays with less radiation and always provide clear explanations of all exams and procedures. In addition, our office also provides oral cancer screenings and periodontal treatment.
Oral Cancer Screening
The dental team at Red Oak Family Dentistry believes the most important preventative measure you can take is your oral cancer screening. Unfortunately, more than 80% of the general population does not get an annual oral cancer screening. Our team knows how vital this screening can be since most oral cancers often go undetected. Regular dental visits will improve the chances that any irregular changes in your oral health will be seen early and the cancer can be treated easily. In between your dental visits, it is important to be aware of any abnormal dental issues and make them known to your dentist. An annual oral cancer screening is painless, quick and can lead to the early discovery of any issues.
Contact Red Oak Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment for you or a member of your family. We look forward to seeing you.
When you’re not a regular cleaning
Sometimes patients require a different cleaning deeper into the gumline to clear bacteria and reduce inflammation. The initial cleaning for periodontal disease in our office is called “gum infection therapy”, sometimes accompanied by a laser therapy treatment. After your gum infection therapy appointment, we will get you on track for every 3-4 months for maintenance cleanings to maintain your gum health. These maintenance cleanings are referred to as “perio maintenance”, the maintenance of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once this bacterial infection is colonized in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can lead to shifting teeth, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
How is periodontal disease detected?
A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper. For extensive cases of periodontal disease, sometimes a specialist is required for treatment.
What is laser bacterial reduction?
What is completed during my gum infection therapy?
Your cleaning appointment will include the following by one of our registered dental hygienists:
Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums which is the start of periodontal disease!
Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Scaling – The Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Root Planing – A careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins.
Patients will require regular ongoing periodontal maintenance cleanings to upkeep their disease following this appointment.
How much will my out of pocket be?
The cost of treatment is different for each patient, depending on your insurance and extent of the disease. After your initial exam, we will provide you with an estimate and go over your payment options with you. For uninsured patients, we offer our Red Oak Premiere Dental Plan, which includes savings for both your gum infection therapy and maintenance cleanings.
Can’t I just get a regular cleaning?
In short, no. As healthcare providers we are required to address active disease and do our due diligence to treat our patients. Neglecting gum disease and completing a regular cleaning would be a disservice to you and your health, so we require periodontal care if active gum disease is present.