Dental Exams and Cleanings

Preventing Problems Before They Start

The health of your teeth and mouth is very important for the well-being of your entire body. While routine brushing and flossing at home are necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting our office for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential.

The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.

By routinely seeing Dr. Grimley for exams and cleanings, you can:

  • Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
  • Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
  • Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
  • Shorten the time spent in our office
  • Have a smile that will last a lifetime

The Exam

During your exam, we will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Dr. Grimley may also want to take X-rays to see what’s happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums.

Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help us discover dental issues that are not visible to the naked eye.

Professional Cleanings

A dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth to determine if you have any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to make sure your gums adhere tightly to your teeth and that no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.

Next, your hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of instruments to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar). Then, the hygienist will floss your teeth and use a polishing paste. For patients who are 16 years of age or younger, we will apply a fluoride varnish.

Cleanings usually aren’t painful, but if you have any anxiety about your dental exam, be sure to let us know. We can offer several sedation options to ensure your comfort.

If Dr. Grimley or a hygienist finds tooth decay or gum disease, he or she will talk to you about changing your brushing or flossing habits. In severe cases, we may recommend antibiotics or other dental treatments.

If your teeth and gums appear to be healthy, we will probably recommend you continue your brushing and flossing routine as usual. Keep in mind that some patients need to come in for professional cleanings more frequently, as much as three or four times a year, to maintain periodontal health.