What to Expect during Your Dental Exam and Professional Cleaning

Woodinville Dental Exams and Cleanings

Jan 13, 2015 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Dental Exams Cosmetic Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

Female patient reclining in a dental chair, smiling after her dental exam and professional cleaningAt Signature Smiles, preventive and general dentistry are the cornerstones of everything that we do. Every beautiful smile is built upon a foundation of good oral health; you simply cannot have the former without first having the latter. This is why, at our family dental practice in Woodinville, dental exams and professional cleanings are treated with the same sense of importance and urgency as any other treatment we offer, including dental implants, porcelain veneers, and Invisalign® orthodontics.

We urge you to take a moment and answer the following questions:

  • When was the last time you had your mouth thoroughly examined?
  • When was the last time you had your teeth and gums professionally cleaned?
  • When was the last time you had your gums screened for periodontal disease?
  • When was the last time you received tips on the latest methods for taking care of your teeth and gums at home, including proper brushing and flossing techniques, between dental visits?

Ideally, your answer to each of these questions was “within the last year.” If it was at least eleven months ago, then you are due for your next dental visit soon. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit the dentist at least twice a year for an oral exam and professional cleaning in order to keep your mouth in optimal health. If you follow this guideline, then congratulations! We commend you.

Unfortunately, if you are like most Americans, you do not visit the dentist twice a year, or even once a year. In fact, you probably visit the dentist only when an emergency arises, if then. What many patients fail to realize is that these dental emergencies would be few and far between if they did attend regular exams and cleanings. Ultimately, these exams and cleanings save most patients time, money, and considerable discomfort.

A Typical Exam and Professional Cleaning

At Signature Smiles, a typical oral exam and professional cleaning is preceded by a consultation with either Dr. Cristin Dowd or Dr. Ken Wu. During the consultation, the dentist will get to know you by discussing your medical and dental history, asking you about your past dental experiences, and learning a bit about your goals, needs, and whatever apprehensions and concerns you may have.

At this point, you will proceed with your session, which will include:

  • A comprehensive examination of your mouth, including your teeth, gums, tongue, the roof and sides of your mouth, and your throat.
  • X-rays of your mouth to identify any problem areas not detectable upon visual examination.
  • A screening for tissue abnormalities that may indicate pre-cancerous or cancerous tissues.
  • An evaluation of your head, neck, jaw, and temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
  • A bite assessment.
  • A thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar that cannot be removed at home.
  • Education about how you can more effectively care for your teeth and gums at home between appointments.
  • Discussion of any problems that have been found, if any, along with a proposed treatment plan and scheduling of follow-up appointments.

Learn more about Dental Exams and Professional Cleanings

To learn more about dental exams and professional cleanings, please contact Signature Smiles today.

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