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At our dental practice, we tell our patients that regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining good oral health throughout life. We suggest a dental exam every six months or as directed by a dental professional.
Are You Overdue for a Dental Exam in Fishkill or a Teeth Cleaning?
Occasionally, dentists may want to see patients more often if they don’t have good oral health. Besides exams, we offer a range of preventative and restorative treatments and procedures to help you maintain your oral health and keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
When you come in for your initial exam, you’ll need to fill out a dental and medical history so please bring a list of your current medications with you. Our exams have two parts to them. First, you’ll have your teeth professionally cleaned, and then, you’ll see one of our dentists for your routine exam. The dentist will check for:
- Gum disease
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Loose restorations
- Abnormalities which could signal oral cancer
After your exam, the dentist will take the time to discuss his or her findings with you and ask if you have questions. If you would like a comprehensive exam, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
Who Offers Professional Cleanings and Gum Disease Treatment?
Professional teeth cleanings are usually done by our dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth in order to reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. The procedure leaves your teeth bright and sparkling, it is a preventative procedure we suggest you have every six months. Since your hygienist polishes your teeth with an abrasive paste, your teeth will be smooth and plaque will have a hard time sticking to them. The polishing also removes stubborn surface stains. If you have a high risk for cavities, your dental hygienist may suggest a fluoride treatment. Feel free to ask him or her any questions you have about your oral care routine at home after your teeth cleaning.
Cleanings go quickly when you take care of your teeth at home. We recommend you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice each day and floss once. If you haven’t been taking care of your teeth, you can have a topical anesthetic applied to ease any discomfort you may feel.
If you don’t have regular cleanings, plaque and tartar can buildup at the gumline which can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease where the plaque irritates your gums. With gingivitis, you may notice your gums are red, not a healthy pink. They may also look puffy and bleed when you brush your teeth. We recommend you call our office if you notice symptoms of gingivitis. Untreated, it can turn into periodontal disease, a more advanced type of gum disease requiring periodontal treatment.
How Do Dentists Cure Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, cannot be cured with breath mints. Everyone has occasional bad breath from foods they eat, but some people have bad breath all the time. Only a dentist can determine if your chronic bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene or gum disease. In most cases, a buildup of plaque is causing the odor. If so, your dentist may suggest a professional cleaning, brushing your tongue or an antibacterial mouthrinse. If it turns out you have gum disease, we can treat it. Other causes of bad breath include smoking and dry mouth. If you have chronic bad breath, please call our office to make an appointment with our dentist.
Why Is an Oral Cancer Screening Necessary?
We urge all our adult patients to have a screening with their six-month dental exam. Oral cancer is a devastating disease, but a screening for oral cancer can detect the disease early, when your survival rate is much higher. The screening can detect abnormalities which may be cancerous before a person has any symptoms. It isn’t only smokers who get oral cancer, although smoking and excessive drinking are major risk factors. We screen all patients, including low-risk patients and those with no known risk factors, with equal thoroughness. Your dentist is your first line of defense against a cancer which kills. Unfortunately, there are many deaths related to mouth cancer because a lot of times the cancer isn’t caught before it spreads.
A screening for oral cancer is painless; it is just a visual examination and then your dentist will feel the tissue in your mouth looking for lumps. If you haven’t had a screening in the last year, please call our office and schedule an exam with a screening for oral cancer.
If you need a dental exam in Fishkill, please contact our dental office to schedule an appointment.