Everyone needs cavity treatment at some point in their lives. Cavities are one of the most common issues that dentists deal with, and they can cause the total loss of a tooth if it is not treated. An untreated cavity can even have life-threatening consequences if the tooth becomes infected.Cavities are caused by acids made…
General Dentistry – The Benefits of Regular In-Office Teeth Cleaning
In-office teeth cleaning is a general dentistry procedure that can significantly impact oral and general health. Although most dentists recommend bi-annual professional cleanings, some patients may require more frequent maintenance.
What does in-office teeth cleaning involve?
Teeth cleaning appointments typically involve multiple steps and last approximately 40 minutes. First, a dentist or hygienist uses a concave mirror to examine the teeth, gums, and mouth tissue for areas requiring particular attention. Next, the dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar along the gum line, on teeth surfaces, and between teeth, using a hooked scaling tool. The following step involves polishing the teeth surfaces with an electrical instrument and a gritty paste that remove stains. Finally, flossing removes any remaining particles between the teeth.
What are the benefits of regular in-office teeth cleaning?
Patients can visit a general dentistry office to undergo routine dental cleanings. This essential oral maintenance procedure helps patients achieve the following benefits.
Even the most diligent brushing and flossing may not be enough to prevent cavities. Professional in-office cleanings involve tools specially designed to scrape away stubborn plaque and tartar that standard home care cannot address before it compromises the teeths' structural integrity, resulting in cavities.
At-home brushing may not be enough to remove an accumulation of stains from daily eating and drinking. Instead, dentists and hygienists use polishing tools that safely and effectively remove surface stains to brighten teeth instantly.
Cleanings in a general dentistry office can prevent a buildup of bacteria in areas of the mouth that are difficult to reach at home with brushing and flossing. As a result, patients who regularly schedule dental office cleanings can eliminate a common cause of bad breath.
Better general health
Regular in-office teeth cleanings can help prevent bacteria from entering the body through the mouth. Although many bacteria are harmless, serious health consequences can result when oral bacteria remain unchecked and travel to other parts of the body. Regular in-office dental cleanings can reduce the chances of patients developing:
- Endocarditis from oral bacteria traveling to the lining of the heart valves and chambers
- Pneumonia from oral bacteria that enter the lungs
- Cardiovascular disease due to inflammation of the blood vessels compromised by oral bacteria deposits
- Pregnancy complications from a mother's oral bacteria reaching a developing fetus
Early cancer detection
At the beginning of every dental cleaning, the oral exam can detect abnormal spots and patches indicating oral cancer. Individuals who do not undergo routine in-office dental cleanings may overlook early manifestations of oral cancer that a dentist or hygienist can catch while cleaning parts of the mouth that are not easily accessible at home.
Lower maintenance costs
Regular in-office cleanings can prevent the progression of potentially severe dental problems that lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Although most dental insurance covers two professional cleanings annually, even without insurance, the cost of cleanings is significantly less than that of treating decay.
Most people can benefit from two dental cleanings per year at a general dentistry office. Good oral hygiene can ensure healthy teeth and prevent various general health complications.
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