Dental Exams and Cleaning
Despite a good oral health care regimen, most people may still experience some form of tooth decay or dental disease. The only real way to ensure you maintain outstanding oral health is to schedule professional cleanings and regular dental exams. Cleanings and exams allow us to protect your teeth, prevent problems, and correct minor issues before they become major complications.
At Oak Park Dental, we mainly focus on preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Gum, or periodontal disease, can cause significant problems for your oral health. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Gum disease is a result of the harmful bacteria found in plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) deposits. These bacteria feed off the sugars and starches we consume, producing acids that eat away at the enamel (tooth decay). In response to the bacteria, our immune system produces toxins that are supposed to destroy the microbes. Unfortunately, these toxins also have a harmful effect on healthy tissues. Eventually, the toxins will cause an infection that can spread to the gum tissues, connective ligaments, and even the jawbone. This infection is also known as gum disease.
Professional cleanings and regular exams allow us to diagnose, prevent, and treat instances of gum disease and tooth decay before they cause irreparable damage. While taking excellent care of your teeth and gums at home is important, cleanings and exams are vital.
Professional CleaningsDuring a professional cleaning Dan O'Leary DDS, Tom Palandech DDS, Carl Stubblefield DMD, and Paul Brannen DMD, or our dental hygienist will use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar build-up from the surfaces of your teeth. Because tartar is calcified plaque, it is much harder to remove. In most instances, tartar can only be removed by a licensed dental professional.
Once we have removed the plaque and tartar and eliminated the bacteria, we will polish the teeth to reduce surface stains. For some patients, we may also recommend fluoride treatment. Fluoride can strengthen the enamel and prevent future instances of decay.
Dental ExamsWe will perform a dental exam either before or after your cleaning. During the exam, we will evaluate your overall oral health, and assess your risk for tooth decay, root decay, and gum disease. We will also check your bite and jaw for any misalignments.
Most exams include a though review of your dental and medical histories. During this time, be sure to ask questions and voice any concerns. We can help educate you on the proper brushing and flossing techniques.
We may also order and take dental X-rays. X-rays give us a detailed look at the inner workings of your mouth. In some cases, they help us diagnose minute instances of decay that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. X-rays can also illuminate problems with the jaw, such as impacted teeth or malocclusions. If we do diagnose any problems, the next step is to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Catching these issues early on can save you a significant amount of time, money, and discomfort!
Schedule Your CheckupIf you are in need of a professional cleaning or comprehensive exam call (971) 600-0211 and schedule your checkup today!