Your dental hygiene appointment
An essential step to keeping your mouth healthy is to regularly visit our dental for checkups and ongoing care. By doing so, you can help prevent small issues from getting bigger and more expensive.
Preventive or Basic Cleaning
Also known as a six-month cleaning or prophylaxis, this dental hygiene appointment is for healthy dental patients and is an essential step to helping ensure long-lasting oral health. It’s a great way to know your mouth is healthy and to walk out with clean, polished teeth.
Here’s what you can expect during a typical dental hygienist appointment:
- Medical history review Tell your hygienist about any changes to your diet or medications as these may impact your treatment and oral health
- Have a conversation with your dental hygienist about any concerns you have regarding your teeth, mouth, or overall oral health
- Visual gum tissue check
- Removal of plaque, tartar, and stains
- Polishing and flossing
- Home care instructions Your dental hygienist will review instructions for any additional care that may be needed for your at-home oral care routine
- Oral cancer screening Depending on your health and risk factors, your dental hygienist may recommend a quick and painless oral cancer screening. The exam enables clinicians to detect oral cancers at their earliest stages when they would not visible based upon a visual exam alone.
- Fluoride treatment Your dental hygienist may also recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a great way to strengthen and protect teeth, and it can be applied at any appointment.
Periodontal Maintenance Appointment
If you’ve received a diagnosis of periodontal disease, the good news is that our dental team can treat it.
Every patient is different, however, most patients who are diagnosed with periodontal disease will first be prescribed a scaling and root planing procedure, sometimes called a deep cleaning, which removes deposits and infection from the tooth roots and gum tissue.
Following your scaling and root planing procedure, your dentist will likely schedule you to return every three months for periodontal maintenance appointments to help keep the disease under control. These appointments can help prevent progression of the disease by treating pockets of infection that may have developed since your last appointment.
- Here’s a smart reason to stick to your periodontal maintenance schedule: If you follow your three-month maintenance schedule, there usually won’t be a need or expense of any additional treatments, such as repeated scaling and root planing procedures.
- Can you have a basic cleaning instead of periodontal maintenance? Actually, basic cleanings and periodontal maintenance are two very different things. A six-month cleaning is designed to prevent periodontal disease—not to treat it. Your three-month periodontal maintenance appointments are aimed at effectively monitoring and treating the disease and returning your gums to their best health possible.
Note that your periodontal maintenance program may vary based on your doctor’s recommendation.