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Professional Cleanings
Professional cleanings performed by a licensed dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:

• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indication of gum disease.
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.

Examinations
Regular examinations by your dentist help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:

• Gum disease screening
• Oral cancer screening
• Visual tooth decay evaluation
• Visual gum disease examination
• Gum pocket measurement and tracking
• X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues

Regular examinations by a dentist are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin

X-rays (Radiographs)
Dental x-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Dentists can detect issues with x-rays before they become problems saving you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:

• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in

Digital X-rays Advantages
Digital x-rays have several advantages over traditional film based x-rays:

• They emit up to 90% less radiation
• They are ready for examination nearly instantly
• They can be viewed on a computer screen
• Their image can be refined and enlarged
• They are greener; no chemicals are needed for processing

Sealants
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.

Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth's biting surface where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.

Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.

Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.

There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
Things You Can Do to Get More Out of Each Visit to Our Office
When you come to our office, we want to make sure you have a good visit. This means that you feel better when you leave than when you came in. We know there are things that can be done to help improve the quality of your dental experience. Sharing these things with you allows you to take a proactive approach to your oral health care. The next time you come in to see us, consider adding some of these things to your routine.

Ask Us Questions About Improving Your Oral Hygiene Routine

It is really important that you ask us any question you have about your teeth, gums, or mouth in general. We want to take the time to explain things to you. The more we can explain to you, the more you will understand how important each part of your oral hygiene routine is. When you have a question about something going on in your mouth, you could also enlighten us to a problem that we may not otherwise have known about. Don’t ever be afraid to ask. No question is a bad question!

Let Us Show You New and Improved Products and Techniques

On top of answering questions, we can also show you ways of improving your technique. If you miss one area of your mouth some of the time, we can point that out. If your flossing leaves a little to be desired, we can explain that, too. We also have access to newer products that we can show you if they would help with your routine. Just ask!

Getting the most out of each visit helps you feel good about coming back. We want to make sure you understand how important it is to show up every six months and get your cleaning and exam. Skipping even one of these appointments can decrease the quality of your oral health. Call us today to find out more about what can be done to improve your experiences each time you come in!

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