It has been reported that 20 to 80 percent of people fear visiting the dentist. With regular dental cleanings and checkups being such an integral part of both oral and overall health, this fear can be detrimental to one’s dental hygiene. To help put those fears at ease, our Livonia dentist Dr. James Stewart would like you to know what to expect during a dental cleaning.
Not Just a Cleaning
A dental exam is more than just a cleaning. Yes, a hygienist will clean and polish your teeth, but the examination is an important step in ensuring your health. Regularly-scheduled checkups allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and catch any potential problems in their infancy. Dr. Stewart will check your mouth for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer.
- Gum disease is a chronic condition that can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss. If it is treated in its early stage—gingivitis—it can be reversed.
- Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth creates acids that erode the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth called enamel. Diagnosing and treating tooth decay can reduce the risk serious complications, such as tooth loss.
- More than 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Early detection and treatment greatly improves the chances of successfully treating cancers of the lips, mouth and throat.
The cleaning portion of the exam is important because even the most diligent patient can’t remove all of the plaque and bacteria in his or her mouth with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. Regular visits to a dental hygienist are needed to keep your teeth free of plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that coats teeth, and tartar, which is hardened plaque. A hygienist can also polish away most coffee, tea, and tobacco stains, restoring a beautiful luster to your teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Now that you know there is nothing to fear about a dental cleaning and checkup, it’s time to schedule one with Dr. Stewart, who recommends that you visit him every six months. Call our Livonia dental office at (734) 425-4400 to schedule a consultation. We serve patients from Novi, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Dearborn, and the surrounding areas.