Good overall health starts with a healthy oral cavity. According to WHO, there is an increase in evidence that oral health complications can aggravate general health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes and pregnancy problems.
Thus, a routine dental check-up is very important to detect problems at its earliest stages.
A routine dental check-up is done once every four or six months. It is a thorough examination whether you still have teeth or none left and with absence or presence of pain.
Routine dental check-up aims to detect early signs of tooth decay and other dental problems like gum diseases. If the dentist can diagnose a dental problem at its earliest stage, preventive measures and less invasive treatments will be sufficient.
Your dentist and dental hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, and other structures inside the mouth using a mouth mirror or intraoral camera. Radiographs will also be taken to verify depth of tooth decay, condition of bone, and detection of certain oral pathologies. After a thorough examination of your current oral health, your dental hygienist will see you for routine cleaning and polishing of your teeth.
Dental hygienists are trained professionals who do routine dental care such as cleaning and polishing of teeth, fluoride therapy and assist dentists with dental procedures.
SUPRAGINGIVAL CLEANING (TEETH CLEANING & POLISHING)
Supragingival cleaning, also known as scaling and polishing, removes plaque and calcular deposits above the gums. Your dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler or hand instruments to remove food debris around each tooth and those stuck in between teeth. Afterwards, the hygienist will use a dental paste to brush and polish the teeth.
Subgingival cleaning is necessary to remove plaque and calcular deposits beneath the gums. Your dental hygienist will use hand instruments to scrape off plaque below the gums which toothbrushes cannot reach. Subgingival cleaning also ends up polishing the teeth using a dental paste.
Once a year, your dentist and/or dental hygienist will recommend fluoride therapy to promote repair of reversible decay spots. Fluoride has two forms: gel or varnish.
Fluoride gel is placed in a gum tray that fits the upper and lower teeth. It will be sited for a few minutes in the mouth to be effective. Then, the patient will have to spit all the gel and you cannot drink or eat within 30 minutes after the application.
On the other hand, fluoride varnish may also be used. It is applied by brushing the fluoride paste on the surfaces of each tooth. You cannot eat or drink within an hour after application for the fluoride to fully work.
Advantages of Cleaning & Polishing done by Dental Hygienists:
Mouth guards are used to prevent dental abrasion from teeth grinding, relieve painful symptoms of TMJ disorder and prevent oral injury from physical contact activities.
Occasionally, periodontal treatment (surgical root planning) by a periodontist will be required in cases wherein hygienist treatments aren’t satisfactory.
WHY DO I NEED PERIODONTAL TREATMENT
According to WHO, as of 2016 severe periodontal (gum) disease is found in 5–20% of middle-aged (35–44 years) adults in Europe, and up to 40% of older people (65–74 years).
Surgical Root Planing starts by numbing your gum tissue first. Then, folding back your gums and removing the debris underneath. Your dentist will then secure the gum tissue back by with stitches. The periodontist will do Surgical Root Planing by parts or with the affected tooth only.
ADVANTAGES OF SURGICAL ROOT PLANNING
Permanent teeth started to be almost white to light yellow after its eruption. After some time, the teeth became yellowish and even greyish due to ageing. But stains can also be due to food, beverages, and cigarette smoking.
After teeth cleaning, if there are stains on the teeth, the dental hygienist will advise stain removal using a jet cleaner or sandblaster. Jet cleaner removes surface stains by spraying high-pressured water with cleaning powder. It removes stains caused by drinking wine, heavily-coloured food, and nicotine stains from smoking cigarettes.
If stain removal through sandblaster is inadequate, your dentist will recommend you to undergo professional teeth whitening. The dentist will apply whitening gel onto the teeth and leave it under a light-activator equipment for a few minutes. It requires re-treatment every 4-6 weeks until desired shade is attained.
If you have any queries in relation to dental implants then do not hesitate to contact Dr Tom Munroe at ( SMILE@milltowndentalclinic.ie).