Preventive Dental Checkups/Cleanings
When plaque stays on your teeth long enough, it calcifies, or hardens, into tartar and becomes too stubborn to remove with a toothbrush. At your dental checkup and cleaning appointment, your hygienist will take care to clean away all traces of plaque and tartar using gentle but professional equipment.
Also, Dr. Khan will perform an all-inclusive examination, or checkup, to look for warning signs of issues that may already have developed, like tooth decay (cavities) and periodontitis (gum disease). Your visit will also include a comprehensive oral cancer screening to detect ulcers, lesions, sores, and other potentially-serious tissue abnormalities.
What to Expect During Your Visit
- A regular dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, involves carefully cleaning every surface of your teeth, including between them and along your gum line. The cleaning will also remove minor surface stains. Afterwards, your hygienist will polish your teeth for a healthy, attractive shine.
- During your checkup, Dr. Khan will perform a comprehensive clinical and radiographic examination of your teeth, gums, and oral tissues. If any problems are detected, treatment options will be presented to remedy the situation.
- In most cases, a dental checkup/cleaning appointment only lasts about an hour. However, if you require further treatment due to the presence of a dental health issue, Dr. Khan will consult with you to determine the most beneficial treatment plan.
Overtime, as plaque sits on your enamel, it will eventually migrate below the gum line and attach to the root as a calcified mass teeming with colonies of bacteria. Once this calcified plaque, known as calculus/tartar, moves below the gum line it damages the bone that supports the teeth and causes inflammation of the gum tissue. This condition is known as periodontal disease, and left untreated can ultimately lead to the loss of teeth due to the destruction of the supporting tooth structures. To treat this condition, a scaling and root planing needs to be performed. This treatment mechanically removes the calcified materials below the gum line and from the roots, reducing the aggressive bacteria which are causing the inflammation and bone loss, and creating a more healthy environment.
Dr. Khan uses special tools, including ultrasonic scaling, which utilize pulses of sound and water to break up the heavy tartar deposits below the gum line, and scalers to achieve a smooth root surface. The gums are anesthetized (numbed) to make the procedure as pain free as possible. The patient must adhere to a strict oral hygiene regimen and attend maintenance cleanings after initial treatment. Periodontal disease is an aggressive infection, but with the doctor’s help and the patient’s motivation, the progression of the disease can be kept at bay.