Bad Breath? A Healthy Mouth Begins with Regular Tooth Cleanings
Dental Cleanings are the best way for patients to maintain good oral hygiene and can help prevent any future dental problems. Cleanings are recommended twice a year for patients to best care for their oral hygiene. At these visits, a hygienist will begin by doing an initial survey of the mouth to check for gingivitis or other evident issues. Once a year, X-rays will be taken of the patient’s entire mouth to evaluate the state of the bones, especially underneath the gum line.
Once the state of the patient’s mouth is reviewed, the hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar that is along the gum line and between teeth using a scaler. The Hygienist will then clean the patient’s teeth with a professional electric toothbrush, followed by flossing. Occasionally the doctor will recommend fluoride be applied after the cleaning to help prevent cavities, but this is often not necessary.
When patients come in for their routine cleaning, they may be told they have gum disease; it is a common dental issue that is caused by plaque build up around the teeth.
Gum Disease can be diagnosed at your regular cleanings. Fortunately, it is highly treatable. Periodontal disease or gum disease is diagnosed by the Hygienist probing the gum tissue by the teeth to check for pockets. Pockets in the gum are evidence that the plaque has separated the gum from the bone and indicates infection. Bone loss is also seen in severe cases of gum disease. If there is bone loss, patients should immediately seek treatment in order to prevent any further damage and even losing teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, gum disease can be indicated by:
- Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that have receded from teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or separating teeth
- Change in the way teeth fit together in the bite
SRP – Deep Cleaning
Unfortunately, if patients have any presence of periodontal disease, our Hygienist is required to perform an SRP (Deep Cleaning), per the American Dental Association standards. Patients should be aware of this to ensure they are getting the proper care they deserve. Likewise, patients should also be aware of SRP scams at dental offices. If you have been told that you require a deep cleaning, we will be happy to give a second opinion at a free consultation.
During an SRP procedure, your dental hygienist will examine your gums to determine how severe your case of gum disease is. Next your teeth will be scaled, or scraped to remove any plaque and tartar buildup on the bottom pockets of your teeth and gums. Finally, to complete the procedure, the hygienist will smooth or plane the root surfaces of the teeth. This is done to help your gums reattach to your teeth because they were separated by plaque. Often times this procedure is conducted over the span of two visits, due to insurance putting a limit on the number of teeth treated each visit.
Following the deep cleaning, the Doctor will sometimes recommend antibiotic treatment in order to fight off any further bacterial infection while the gums heal. The Doctor may also recommend special toothpaste or a mouth rinse to help maintain the health of your gums.
It is important to avoid tobacco products to both prevent gum disease and to slow the progression of it. It is also important to schedule your regular cleanings and checkups with your Doctor in the timeframe that they prescribe.
Oral Hygiene Between Regular Cleanings
It can be difficult to know how to best take care of your teeth outside of going to regular dental cleanings. It’s important that patients brush and floss their teeth regularly to avoid any extra visits to the dentist outside of routine cleanings. It is also recommended that everyone brushes their teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, and to floss once a day. Mouthrinse could be beneficial, but not necessary unless recommended by your Doctor or Hygienist.
At your regular check-up, your dentist may also recommend a specific toothpaste if you struggle with sensitive teeth or are prone to having thin enamel. It is important to listen to the Doctor’s advice to ensure you take the best care possible of your teeth and prevent any avoidable issues.
In the interest of having the best oral health possible, it is also important to avoid certain things that may cause or worsen existing dental issues. Patients should avoid tobacco products when possible. Tobacco has been proven to cause plaque build-up and even gum disease, which can lead eventually to tooth decay, resulting in missing teeth if not cared for by a Dentist. Trauma to teeth can also be problematic if not taken care of immediately; it can lead to bacteria getting inside the tooth and causing tooth decay.
It is important that patients see their dentist at least twice every year in order to maintain good oral hygiene. Dental cleanings help prevent periodontal disease, cavities, and other problems that may arise.
Regular Cleanings Help Prevent Future Issues
At Snellville Family Dental, we recommend that patients get X-rays at least once a year in order to monitor the health of the bone below the surface of the gums. This will help the Hygienist and Doctor to detect any bone loss, while also monitoring any existing issues.
Regular visits to the Dentist can help detect issues early and prevent any drastic treatment that may need to be done. Cavities, while fairly common, can be prevented by regular visits. Additionally, if cavities are ignored, they can turn into much more difficult procedures. If tooth decay goes unchecked, a root canal may be required in order to save the tooth. If the teeth are past the point of having a root canal done, the doctor may recommend the tooth be removed. While the Dentist will explore every option available before extracting a tooth, this can be necessary if the infection spreads too far within the tooth, resulting in breakage and bone loss in the jaw.
How Much Do Dental Cleanings Cost?
For a complete tooth cleaning and exam, it is $292, this includes x rays and a prophylaxis treatment. The only thing patients need to qualify for these prices is no gum disease. If the patient has gum disease then regular cleaning is not enough, which the Hygienist will go over at the first visit. If there is the presence of gum disease, the patient will require an SRP, or scaling and root planing. When this procedure is necessary, the cost of the treatment is higher due to it being much more extensive than traditional cleaning.
Will Insurance Cover My Dental Cleaning?
For patients with insurance, plans will often cover preventative treatment, like cleanings and exams, at a high percentage. For a full list of benefits and coverage percentages, patients can call their insurance company or HR department. Patients should also be aware of potential frequency limitations for treatment coverage with insurance, which they can get by calling their insurance company. At Snellville Family Dental, we will submit dental insurance claims as a courtesy to our patients.
Post Op Care for Deep Cleaning
To properly care for your mouth after receiving a scaling and root planing procedure, follow these steps:
- For tenderness, rinse the mouth with warm salt water (1⁄2 tsp of salt in 4 oz of water).
- Usually, there is little bleeding associated with deep cleanings, but slight oozing may
- For moderate pain, over the counter pain relievers can be used according to
directions on the bottle.
- For sensitivity, be sure to keep your teeth clean. You can also use
toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
- For food, soft foods that do not require excessive chewing is ideal for healing.
- No smoking.
- Call immediately if experiencing severe pain, excessive bleeding, or if anything
Book Your Appointment Today!
Snellville Family Dental is committed to providing our community and their families with safe and honest dental care. Take the hassle out of dental care by getting your entire family treated under one roof. Our expert team of dentists and technicians have been providing top-notch dental care and procedures for over 30 years. Give us a call or message us on Facebook if you have any questions or to book an appointment.
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Dental Assistant, RDA
Dental Assistant, RDA
Dental Assistant, RDA