A check-up and clean involves more than just cleaning the teeth. At Alexandra Hills Dental, we look at the soft tissues of your mouth as well as your teeth. With our background in radiation therapy, we do an oral cancer screening test at every cleaning appointment. We also check for any abnormalities in the jawbone, and ensure there is no swelling in the lymph nodes. We also assess your bite- how are the teeth resting together? Are the jaw joints moving the way they should? Some of these factors can go unnoticed until they start to cause pain if regular check ups with your dentist are not done. We strongly believe that prevention is better than a cure, so picking up on some of these early, can save you a lot of money, time and pain!
Looking at your teeth, the dentist is checking for any signs of wear, decay, crack-lines, or anything that can cause a potential issue within the next 5-10 years. The supporting structures for your teeth (gums and bone) are also examined- without those in good health, our teeth will just fall out! This is checked through x-rays (taken every 2 years unless symptoms prompt for sooner investigations).
Your teeth are then cleaned as gently as possible to remove any staining, plaque and calculus. Sometimes this process can cause some sensitivity, so be sure to let your dentist know if you need a break or if you would like something to help with the cold sensation. If there are any areas of concern, we will take a photograph to discuss with you at the end of the appointment. The photographs really help you understand what the dentist is concerned about.
As well as discussing with you about the photographs and x-rays that were taking, the dentist will show you the best way to clean your teeth. There is so much information and everyone has different ideas about how to properly clean your teeth, that sometimes all you need to improve your oral health is a tweak in your brushing technique. The dentist will show you the best ways to make sure you are able to clean EVERY surface of your teeth!
You may find that a check-up and clean appointment takes a little longer than a clean at another clinic. This is because we want to make sure we are doing a complete and thorough examination for you. There is always time for the dentist to answer any of your dental questions, and to make the cleaning as painless as possible.