Understanding the Value of Cleanings & Exams
Regular brushing and flossing are effective ways to protect your smile to some degree, but at-home care simply cannot replace the procedures employed by skilled dentists. Gum disease can develop in areas of the gum line that are not accessible by a toothbrush, and cavities cannot be effectively treated with mouthwash. Drs. K.B. Parkes, Gary Waltemath, and Karen S Keenan at Iroquois Family Dentistry in Nashville, TN, offer a wide variety of preventative treatments that can ensure your teeth remain healthy and strong.
Benefits of Cleanings and Exams
The aim of our dental cleanings and exams is to prevent gum disease and all forms of damage to your teeth. Patients who maintain good oral health habits and visit dentists twice a year are less likely to develop gum disease or cavities. However, even the most diligent patients can develop cavities and gingivitis.
Regular brushing and flossing are effective ways to protect your smile to some degree, but at-home care simply cannot replace professional cleanings.
Dental cleanings prevent mild forms of gum disease from developing into more serious forms of periodontitis, which can potentially lead to jawbone recession and even tooth loss. Dental exams can catch cavities early, helping you avoid the need for more complex treatments like root canals. Other benefits of cleanings and exams include:
- Early detection of oral cancer: About 53,000 Americans will develop some form of oral cancer in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society.
- Improved in-home care: Our dentists and hygienists can give you tips on how to better care for your teeth at home.
- Improved whole-body health: Clinical studies have shown links between gum disease and cardiovascular health.
- Longterm savings: Preventative care can save you from more expensive restorative treatments like dental implants and dental crowns.
- Whiter smile: Cleanings can leave your teeth healthier-looking and whiter.
What Happens during an Exam?
To begin, x-rays will be taken to gain better insight into the health of your smile. During the exam portion of your visit, your dentist will be looking for signs of decay or infection inside your teeth and jawbone. Oral screenings for cancer are optional but highly recommended. After your examination, we will discuss the state of your oral health with you and recommend treatments as needed.
What Is Involved in a Dental Cleaning?
During your dental cleaning, one of our doctors or a hygienist will remove plaque and tartar using specialized tools. Once this process is complete, your teeth will be polished using a rotary tool. Dental cleanings take around 30 minutes to complete, on average.
Why Dental Cleanings and Exams Are Critical to Your Health
Preventative dentistry can lower your risk of developing gum disease, cavities, and enamel loss. But many patients do not realize that regular visits to your dentist can also protect your overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to serious health issues such as diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and heart disease. In addition, millions of American have substantial tooth loss due to the effects of untreated gum disease. These are all reasons why the American Dental Association recommends twice-a-year dental visits.
Schedule Your Next Visit Today
The doctors and staff at Iroquois Family Dentistry are dedicated to providing you with convenient and comfortable dental cleanings and exams. Beyond cleanings, our preventative treatment options include dental sealants and fluoride treatments. The benefits of preventative care is clear. To schedule your first or next appointment at our office, contact us online or call (615) 298-2040.