Dental Cleanings And Exams In Webster, TX
Why Should I Get Regular Cleanings and Exams?
The backbone of most dental practices is general dentistry. The fact is that most patients come into a dentist office to have a general dentistry procedure performed, whether it’s a dental cleaning or exam, having a sealant placed, or an oral cancer screening. These types of procedures help ensure your oral health remains optimal and your smile beautiful, and we consider them elite at Clear Lake Dental Care.Tooth decay is second to the common cold as the most widespread disease in the United States. It affects mostly children and teenagers, but adults are also susceptible. If not treated, tooth decay can lead to pain, missing teeth, and more serious conditions. Ignoring decay can also mean expensive and complicated dental work in the future. Tooth decay prevention is a must and basic step for an overall dental hygiene regimen.
How often should you get regular teeth cleanings and exams?
The American Dental Association recommends having a professional cleaning and exam every six months. This isn’t an arbitrary time frame — that’s about how long it takes for plaque to harden into tartar and begin to build up in areas. If this is left untreated, this tartar and plaque will start to push under the gum-line, and that’s the beginning of gum disease.
But if we see you every six months at Clear Lake, we can remove any tartar that has built up. We also thoroughly clean the teeth and provide an abrasive that polishes some of the staining off. Now your teeth and gums are clean and healthy. During a routine visit, Dr. Das will also take any necessary X-rays and check your mouth for cavities and other problems.
Beyond our professional cleaning, Dr. Das, Dr. Pham, and Dr. Acevedo examine your overall oral health. They’re looking for signs of oral cancer and gum disease. They’re looking for any gum recession. They’re testing any existing cavities, bridges, or crowns to verify they are still functioning and intact.
All of this works to keep your oral health in tip top shape. By seeing us every six months, the odds of your appointments being nothing more than cleanings and exams are much higher. Good home hygiene and consistent twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams almost ensure you will never have to deal with gum disease, tooth loss, placement of implants, or dentures. That’s the real crime about not taking care of your teeth.
What happens if I haven’t been to the dentist in years?
Whatever your reasons for not seeing a dentist, unfortunately you’re not alone. The ADA recently released statistics of the frequency of people seeing their dentist. Just over half, 52.3% of adults, visited their dentist every six months, the recommended ADA timeframe. From there, things deteriorated: 15.4% visited once a year, and 11% visited every two to three years. Believe it or not, 21.3% said they had not visited the dentist in the last five years.
So, what is likely to be the consequence of not having regular dental care?
- You almost surely have some level of gum disease. That’s because calculus, the clinical term for plaque that has hardened into tartar, can only be removed by a professional hygienist or dentist. Since you can’t break it off your teeth at home, odds are it has continued to accumulate and is surely pushing under your gums. The degree that this is happening is the depth of your gum disease. The ADA estimates that over 47% of U.S. adults over the age of 30 have untreated gum disease. Gum disease doesn’t go away: it ends up with tooth loss.
- You likely have decay in at least one tooth. When you don’t diligently remove plaque from your teeth and when plaque turns to tartar, you’re creating a playground for bacteria to thrive. When you have cleanings and exams every six months, if bacteria have penetrated into the enamel, it likely has not made deep progress. The cavity is still small, and it is easy to remove the decay and place a filling. Left unaddressed, the bacteria will keep pushing into the tooth, and if it enters the interior pulp the tooth is now in danger of needing extraction. Not to mention it will probably be quite painful, as the bacteria is now engaging with the nerve fibers inside the tooth. Now you will need a root canal just to save the tooth.
- Your breath is probably sour. Bacteria and decay are not associated with clean, fresh breath. Bacteria that lead to gum disease and tooth decay will begin to give you chronic bad breath as the bacteria multiply and thrive in pockets where your gums are pulling away from your teeth.
OK, you get the idea. If you haven’t seen a dentist in years, it is highly likely that bad things are happening with your teeth and gums. You’re headed for a future of tooth loss and dentures.
What’s the difference between a regular twice-yearly dental cleaning and deep cleaning?
It’s a little bit of wordplay for what constitutes a “deep cleaning,” but if you have not seen a dentist regularly, there’s a good chance that you need more than a regular cleaning. As we mentioned above, it’s likely tartar has built up and is moving under your gums. This requires root scaling (breaking off the tartar from under your gums) and root planing (making the root surfaces smooth so the gums stop receding and adhere back to the root surface). These treatments need the patient to have local anesthetic. If you’ve built up deep staining, we’d probably want to perform in-office whitening after we do our initial cleaning to remove those stains.
Do dental exams hurt?
Dental exams and cleanings are not painful. When our hygienists break tartar off your teeth, they apply some pressure with a dental pick, but it’s not painful. Cleaning your teeth is a painless experience, as is our overall exam and oral cancer check.
Are my dental cleanings covered by my dental insurance?
Any dental insurance worth its salt covers two professional cleanings and oral exams each year. This is because, as mentioned above, that’s about the time it takes for tartar to begin getting out of hand. Getting rid of it at that point is the ultimate in preventive care. Also, any decay we find after only six months is likely to require only a very small filling. If left for a year or two, that decay can enter the interior of the tooth. Now the tooth will require a root canal just to save it. Replacing teeth with implants and bridges is far more expensive than paying for cleanings and exams, and that’s why dental insurance covers your professional cleanings and exams.
How do your exams check for oral cancer?
When we’re examining your mouth, we probe your lymph nodes under your jaw, pull on your tongue, push on various spots across your cheeks, and visually examine the inside of your mouth. We’re checking for these signs of oral cancer:
- A sore in the mouth
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- Persistent mouth pain
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils, or lining of the mouth
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Jaw pain
- Numbness of the tongue or other areas in your mouth
- Jaw swelling
- Persistent bad breath
This is another reason why twice-yearly exams are important. Drs. Das, Pham, and Acevedo can spot any signs of oral cancer early, and that’s the key to successfully treating, and beating, oral cancer.
Why choose Clear Lake Dental Care?
Webster, TX dentist Dr. Das focuses on prevention in the battle against tooth decay. Because every mouth is different and cavity risk varies from person to person, Dr. Das recommends a personalized preventive regimen. Besides practicing excellent oral hygiene at home and seeing your dentist for cleanings and checkups, additional decay prevention may be needed if you have a high risk of developing cavities.
Is there anything I do before heading to Clear Lake for a cleaning?
There isn’t anything you need to do prior to coming in.
I’ve Been Told That I Have Periodontal Disease, Can I Get A Regular Dental Cleaning?
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent jaw bone destruction and possible tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. If a patient with periodontal disease does not have the proper treatment done and only has a regular cleaning, the infection will continue to spread and destroy the bone. Our hygienist will determine the health of your gums and educate you on the type of cleaning that is recommended for you. We truly have your best interest at heart and want to see you keep your teeth as long as possible!
Why should I come in for professional dental cleaning?
At Clear Lake Dental Care, we know that sometimes it can be hard to keep your teeth at an optimally clean level. That is part of the reason we suggest that you come in every six months to have your teeth cleaned. We can clean those hard-to-reach places on your teeth that can build up tartar and plaque over time. Built-up tartar and plaque put you in danger of damaging your oral health.
If you have a high risk of developing cavities, your dentist in Webster may recommend special toothpastes, mouth rinses, brushes, and more frequent cleaning appointments. Fluoride treatment can also help rebuild damaged parts of your teeth and strengthen the enamel.
Dental Sealants For Adults and Children
A dental sealant is a type of resin that is painted on the biting surfaces of the back teeth or any tooth with deep pits and grooves. It’s a liquid that quickly bonds to the grooves of the teeth to “seal” and protect them from food particles, plaque, and acids. Clear Lake Dental Care recommends sealants for teeth that are particularly harder to reach when flossing and brushing.
Children and adults can benefit from the quick preventive procedure. Children and teenagers in the cavity-prone years (ages 6-14) can benefit from sealants that help protect the molars and premolars. Sealants may also be recommended for baby teeth. If you notice that your child’s baby teeth have deep grooves, ask your dentist about sealants. This coating can protect the teeth and prevent early tooth loss, which can lead to poor spacing for the child’s permanent teeth. This procedure will also prevent any dental emergencies in the future, saving you money and time.
Even adults without tooth decay can benefit from sealants. It’s an excellent preventive procedure to protect hard-to-reach back teeth from decay and maintain better dental health. Dental sealants can last for years with normal chewing. Regular visits to the dentist should be enough to check them and determine if a replacement is needed.
See What Our Patients Are Saying!
“I always have such a great experience when I come to Clear Lake Dental. Dr. Das and his team are so friendly and very knowledgeable. The office itself is beautiful with modern decor. I live in Houston and drive the distance just to be a patient there. A couple of my friends go there now as well and they love it!” — Kat T.
“This practice is top notch! First class in knowledge of staff, latest technology and exceptional service!” — Luke A.
To read more written testimonials, click here!
why you need immediate screening for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can be a devastating disease that can change your life – or even take it away. That is why we offer quality oral cancer screenings. We will make sure that you are showing no signs of oral cancer so you can rest easy at night knowing that you are oral cancer–free. But if we do find a trace of cancer, we will be ahead of the game and ready to treat you. After we take X-rays of your mouth and check for other problems that may have arisen in your mouth, we will check for the various signs of oral cancer.
What is The Importance of Having a Dental Cleaning and Exam Every Six Months?
You may not think it’s necessary to come in regularly for dental cleanings and an exam. But the fact is that it is extremely important to come in every six months because, in that amount of time, tartar and plaque can build up in your mouth and begin to affect your oral health. When you come in for dental cleanings, we will erase tartar and plaque from those hard-to-reach places on your teeth so that your mouth will feel healthy and clean.
We know that you lead a busy life, and sometimes brushing and flossing your teeth may fall to the wayside. That is why dental cleanings every six months can become very important. Also, if any further complications have arisen as a result of poor oral health, we can catch these problems and find a solution during your dental exam.
Schedule a Consultation
There are many factors that determine what Dental cleanings and exam option would be best for you. Call our office at 281-557-8097 or fill out the email contact form below to schedule a complimentary consultation and find out what affordable solution is best for you. Our accomplished dentists and talented team looks forward to serving you!