Even if you are fairly proactive with your oral hygiene, you may still be a little apprehensive when you visit your hygienist for a cleaning. What will they find that you missed? Better yet, what are they even looking for during your appointment?
The job of a hygienist is to act as your first line of defense against oral disease. So the point of the exam really is to identify and treat small problems before they cause you discomfort. Look at it this way – It’s much better for you if your hygienist finds something during your exam than for you to wake up with a toothache at 2 AM on a Sunday!
What Happens During a Cleaning Appointment
In addition to a thorough dental cleaning, some of the things your hygienist will look for during your exam are:
Gum disease is very common, primarily because as a patient, you may not experience any symptoms. But during your routine cleaning, your hygienist will look for inflammation around your gum line and gum recession. They will also measure the depth of periodontal pockets, which is space that forms between gums and teeth due to gum disease.
During your exam, your hygienist will check for signs of decay that usually appear as small black spots. They take x-rays as needed to identify areas of decay when they are very small and do not require complicated procedures like dental crowns or root canals to treat.
Very fine cracks can appear in your teeth without your knowledge, but your hygienist can spot them easily during your cleaning appointment. Fractures weaken the tooth and increase the risk of other serious problems. Minor cracks can be filled in or resurfaced, but major cracks and breaks need to be repaired and the tooth protected with a durable dental crown.
Dental Cleanings in Temple, TX
If it’s time for your next cleaning appointment, please call Temple Dental Trails. Our skilled hygienists will never judge or lecture you because their job is to start right where you are and help you achieve a healthier smile!