Your dentist or dental hygienist will perform the teeth cleaning. This involves removing the tartar that develops in areas difficult to reach with routine daily brushing.
During the cleaning process various instruments are used to perform tooth scaling, tooth polishing and debridement (removal of plaque and calculus that have accumulated on the teeth). These procedures remove hard and soft deposits which prevents gum disease and cavities from occurring.
Daily flossing and brushing help prevent unscheduled visits to the dentist when combined with annual dental exams and dental teeth cleanings every 6 months. A healthy diet is also important for avoiding tarter build-up, cavities and gum disease.
Why regular dental cleanings are important:
Help prevent bad breath
Maintain a bright and white smile
Help prevent Gum Disease
Detect dental problems early
Help oral cancer
Maintain good physical health
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is an orthopedic surgeon focused exclusively on the facial region, dealing with a range of issues including:
Removal of impacted teeth
Jaw joint repaired with TMJ surgery
Jaw alignment or orthognathic surgery
Realigning of facial bones following facial trauma, such as a car accident
Replacing teeth with dental implants
Have a tooth extracted
Repair of facial trauma
Diagnoses and removal of facial, oral of jaw cysts
Facial and jaw reconstruction
Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry concerned with diagnosing then treating gum disease and the placement of dental implants. A dentist will recommend seeing a Periodontist when a patient’s gums are in need of a specialist’s help due to disease, cosmetics or implant placement. Together, working as a team, the dentist and periodontist will combine to decide on the most effective treatment option to provide the highest level of care.
Prosthodontists specialize in replacement of missing teeth and the restoration of teeth. They are at the forefront of dental implantology and concentrate on preserving a healthy mouth, creating tooth replacements and dynamic smiles.
Endodontists specialize in issues concerning the inside of the tooth. When the inside of the tooth is infected or inflamed an endodontist may perform a root canal procedure, often referred to as endodontic treatment.
A pediatric dentist is required to take at least 2 additional years of schooling following dental school. The additional training includes the study of child behavior, unique requirements of children’s dentistry and children’s physical growth and development. A pediatric dental office is focused on the treatment of children – this includes the staff, office atmosphere and furnishings.. all is designed to put a child at ease.
An orthodontist uses braces, retainers and other devices to straighten a patient’s teeth and correct jaw miss-alignment.
The majority of bad bites are inherited. Genetic problems include protrusion, crowding, spacing, extra or missing teeth and jaw growth problems.
Other bite problems develop over time due to thumb sucking, loss of primary or permanent teeth, an accident, etc.
When you have a dental emergency, you should call a dentist immediately - most dentists allocate time to emergencies and will see you immediately.
The following tips can help preserve the tooth until your appointment:
Knocked-Out Tooth – Pick the tooth up by the top or crown and do not touch the root then rinse the tooth carefully. If possible, you should replace the tooth gently in the socket, otherwise place the tooth in a cup of milk or small container of water.
Loose Tooth or a Tooth Out of Alignment – Gently try to realign the tooth - your dentist may splint the loose tooth to adjacent teeth to keep it stabilized.
Chipped – A chipped tooth that doesn’t hurt is not usually considered a dental emergency requiring immediate attention but be careful chewing so you don’t make the chip any worse. Your dentist will either smooth out the chip or fill it in with composite material.
Cracked and Fractured teeth - To increase the chances your tooth can be saved, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water, apply a cold compress to minimize swelling and take acetaminophen to alleviate pain.
Fluoride is naturally present in teeth and strengthens teeth while also preventing teeth decay. Fluoride exists in water, eggs, fish, meat and tea. Dentists recommend using toothpaste with fluoride and use fluoride in several dental treatments. Fluoride is very safe and poses no danger when used in the dosages your dentist uses.
Prior to fluoride treatment it is very important to have clean teeth. Your dentist will polish away stains prior to treatment. Brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste twice a day and flossing goes a long way to preventing tooth decay. It is recommended that you brush prior to going to bed so the fluoride can remain on your teeth during the night.
Fluoride Treatment Process
In fluoride treatments, children and adults are given relatively high concentrations of fluoride. Your dentist will dry the teeth then apply fluoride as a gel, foam or varnish. Your dentist will paint the fluoride on the teeth or apply using a mouth guard-like tray. Following treatment a patient is not allowed to eat or drink for thirty minutes.
Dental hygiene or oral hygiene means maintenance of the mouth, teeth and gums. Oral hygiene is made up of at-home daily maintenance and regular visits to your dentist. The daily brushing and flossing you do at home combined with the professional cleanings provided by your dentist and dental hygienist will ensure you keep your natural teeth for a life time.
The Dental Hygiene Process
No matter how thorough an at-home brushing and flossing routine may be, calculus will build up on the teeth over time. As calculus builds below the gum line, bacteria eventually invade the area with the potential to create a host of dental problems. A dental hygienist is trained to eliminate this calculus buildup and eliminate this threat to ones health.
Dental hygienists are specialists at scraping away the hard plaque and removing calculus deposits. They also take X-rays and look for changes to the patient’s bite.
When the hygienist is done cleaning, the dentist will conduct further examination of the gums and mouth for signs of tooth decay or gum disease. The American Dental Association suggests patients schedule a visit to the dentist and dental hygienist twice a year to guarantee good oral hygiene.