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What is a Dental Exam & Cleaning?

Couple brushing teeth.Cleanings and exams are both integral parts of your preventative care. Keeping your teeth and mouth healthy is important and we can provide the necessary treatment to help make this a reality. Exams and cleanings should be done twice a year. Cleanings are performed by hygienists while the exam will be done by our doctor.

Why is a Cleaning and Exam needed?

Cleanings are necessary to remove hardened plaque and tartar. The gums will then be checked for any possible signs of gum disease and inflammation. The exam checks for loose restorations, decay and oral cancer. Combined, a cleaning and exam can help to keep your teeth and mouth healthy throughout the year.

LANAP® Protocol

Dr. Bhandaru is a LANAP® certified clinician.

The LANAP® protocol uses the specific wavelength PerioLase® MVP-7™ dental laser to vaporize bacteria deep within the pockets of the gums while leaving healthy tissue intact. Because of the gentle nature of the procedure, patients typically see immediate results with less bleeding when brushing and less bad breath. Your gums still need time to recover and heal, but after LANAP® treatment, you can continue with your day uninterrupted.

What makes you a good candidate for a Cleaning and Exam?

Everyone is a good candidate for cleanings and exams! For patients with periodontal disease, deeper cleanings, known as scaling and root planings, may be necessary. All patients should see us twice a year for cleanings and exams. Even babies as young as one or two years old should be coming in for bi-annual appointments.

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What happens during a Cleaning and Exam?

The hygienist will take several x-rays of your teeth that are used as part of your preventative care treatment. They will then clean your teeth thoroughly with specialized equipment and tools. Hardened plaque, tartar and difficult stains will be removed and the teeth flossed. The gums are then checked for signs of inflammation and pocketing, which could signal gum disease. Our doctor then comes into the office and performs a comprehensive examination. We’re looking for cavities, loose or broken restorations and even oral cancer. Both the cleaning and exam will take roughly an hour at Carrollton Smiles and be conveniently scheduled for your whole family. We can then pre-schedule your next checkup appointment so that you never have to worry that you’re missing the care that you need!

If you need to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and exam, call our office today and we can further assist you.

Additional Cleaning & Prevention Services

Oral Cancer Screening

Every time we provide care, we’re observing many different aspects of your overall health. Most people are surprised at the large amount of surface area that lines the mouth. While this lining repairs itself quickly, it is susceptible to changes that may require monitoring or further evaluation.

Oral cancer can afflict anyone although tobacco users put themselves at significantly higher risk than non-users. Chewing tobacco contains up to 3000 different chemicals, including the same compounds used in pesticides and embalming fluid. Cellular changes below the surface aren’t always detectable until they’ve advanced to a critical stage.

However, early detection and treatment of oral cancer significantly increase the chance of a positive outcome. The American Cancer Society reports that about 7,000 deaths result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually. If we suspect any unusual changes in your mouth tissue, we may suggest a biopsy and microscopic analysis by a qualified lab.

Many other non-cancerous changes can occur in your mouth’s tissue, from oral warts to autoimmune lesions. Dr. Bhandaru draws on her background in oral pathology to determine if any abnormalities should be removed or simply monitored.

As a side note, we understand tobacco holds powerful addictive powers over many health-conscious people. If you’re determined to quit, we want to be a supportive partner in your efforts. Ask us about strategies and resources for kicking the habit.

Home Care

A healthy smile is highly dependent on what happens between visits to see us. Good oral care habits can be established by anyone committed to carving a few minutes out each day to make it happen. Like regular exercise, consistency builds on previous efforts to enhance your health. At least two brief sessions of brushing and cleaning between your teeth daily set a foundation for optimum health.

With so many products available to consumers today, your hygienist serves as a personal trainer when it comes to dental home care. We’ll quickly narrow down the endless options and form a plan that fits you. Would a Waterpik make more sense and reach deeper than floss for your condition? Should you use a prescription toothpaste due to high risk from a reduced saliva condition? Many factors fit into a plan that makes your time and effort work for you.

Some patients identified with high risk for dental problems benefit from even more personalized routines. Simple, inexpensive additions can transform the environment of your mouth and dramatically reduce disease activity. For example, Xylitol is a naturally-derived sweetener that can reduce cavity activity in children and adults when used in the right dosages and exposure times.

Teeth Cleaning

While dental emergencies can strike anyone, our patients who commit to regular preventive care present with significantly fewer problems over time. Professional cleanings with a registered dental hygienist allow us to bring a blend of proactive efforts to you. Deposits of mineralized plaque, known as tartar, adhere to certain areas of the teeth, even with your best efforts. These deposits offer suitable housing for millions of harmful bacteria to reside. Left unchecked, they produce a flood of toxins into the gums. This frequently cascades into devastating chronic problems, even resulting in loss of the teeth.

When you visit us periodically, we can gently remove the deposits from the tooth surfaces. Without sitting undisturbed, bacterial tartar doesn’t have the same opportunity to produce irreversible damage. Furthermore, we use professional-strength polishing paste that gently buffs away stain and microscopic plaque, leaving your teeth ultra-smooth and shiny. Since discoloration settles into the enamel of your teeth over time, this helps slow yellowing while maintaining a glassy surface for better cleansing.


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