Dental Cleanings An Overview
Oral Health impacts overall health and well-being. At Proud Smiles in Sandy Springs, preventive dental care is the foundation of Dr. Paulen’s dentistry. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is the key to long-term oral health and a good quality of life.
Poor dental health has been associated with a greater risk for several health problems and systemic diseases.
Preventive care visits allow Dr. Paulen and her staff to spot dental problems in the early stage when conservative treatment is most effective. Learn more about the oral-systemic connection.
A typical preventive care visit may include the following:
- Professional dental cleaning
- Digital dental x-rays
- Periodontal screening
- Dental caries (cavities) screening
- Occlusal analysis to examine the position of the bite
The Importance of Preventative Care
Preventative care provides the basis for your oral health. Without preventative care, you’re more likely to develop severe oral health problems. Severe issues cost more to treat and require more invasive treatment options.
Preventative care happens both in our office and when you’re at home. We provide you with all the education you need to ensure you take care of your smile properly at home. We’ll show you specific brushing and flossing techniques to help with your problem areas or to ensure you’re cleaning around devices. If you’re more prone to particular issues, we may recommend specific products for your smile.
However, there are some areas brushing and flossing at home can’t clean. Our hygienists have specialized dental tools to clean certain areas of your teeth. Without regular cleanings, plaque and tartar build up in these areas, causing tooth decay and gum disease issues.
A thorough dental exam is also done when you’re in for a dental cleaning. With our technology and expertise, we’re equipped to notice early signs and symptoms of certain conditions that you may not notice on your own. Things like oral cancer and gum disease have early warning signs that people often dismiss. We can help you determine when there’s something that we need to investigate more extensively.
Dental Cleanings What to Expect
Some patients are more susceptible to decay than others, but diligent preventative dental care can help decrease tooth decay. Cavities affect patients of all ages and are a growing health concern.
Tooth decay can lead to secondary dental health concerns and even cause systemic health complications. Thorough at-home oral hygiene, routine dental cleanings, and oral health exams are essential for maintaining your oral health.
Dr. Paulen offers additional preventative treatment options to deter the development of tooth decay.
Fluoride Varnish– Fluoride treatments are a noninvasive procedure that can be completed following a dental cleaning. Fluoride is painted onto the surface of the teeth to help prevent tooth decay.
Sealants– Sealants ideally adhere to the molar chewing surfaces. As a topical treatment, sealants are applied to the difficult-to-clean crowns of the molars to seal out tooth decay.
Prescription Fluoride Toothpaste– For decay-prone patients, Dr. Paulen may make personalized recommendations for oral hygiene products. Dr. Paulen offers a prescription fluoride toothpaste, Clinpro 5000, for patients needing higher-strength toothpaste.
Phocal Fluoride Disk: Patented Phocal disks are inserted in between the teeth. The discs are designed to soften and expand, forming a gel seal between teeth. Phocal disks are meant to prevent the development of decay on the surfaces between teeth.
Fluoride Gel Trays: Patients who experience severe dry mouth are more likely to develop tooth decay. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many systemic illnesses and medications. Patients undergoing treatment for cancer, organ transplants, or Lupus may benefit from fluoride gel trays to help reduce the side effects of dry mouth.
Since the best results start with an accurate and thorough diagnosis, it’s here that each patient first becomes acquainted with Dr. Paulen’s health-centered approach.
Dental Fitness Program
It begins with a personal and private meeting where you will discuss your dental history and relate your dental goals. From there, Dr. Paulen performs a very comprehensive dental examination where she uses specialized techniques along with state-of-the-art digital radiography and intra-oral photography.
The detailed information from this exam is used to produce a personalized “Dental Fitness Report”.
Within this report will be an objective measure of your dental wellness called your “Dental Fitness Score”. It’s this score that allows you and Dr. Paulen to track your progress toward your goals and maximum dental wellness.