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What Exactly Goes Into a Comprehensive Dental Cleaning Visit?

Posted on: February 16th, 2023 | Posted by | Posted in General Dentistry

When looking for a dentist near you, it can be tempting to go to the dentist that’s nearest to you. The temptation might be stronger if you are not looking for a cosmetic dentist and just need a dental cleaning. When deciding which dentist to go to for dental cleanings, however, it’s worth keeping in mind that not all cleanings are created equal.

When looking for a dentist near you for a dental cleaning, you want to find one that offers a comprehensive cleaning. If a dentist is offering a cleaning that takes less than thirty minutes, you may want to proceed with caution. Here’s what you can expect from a comprehensive cleaning and exam:

  1. The first thing the hygienist would do is check in with you to find out if you’ve had any dental concerns recently.
  2. Next the hygienist will take x-rays if enough time has passed since your last x-ray. This x-ray can either be a full mouth series (generally taken every 3 years) or simple bitewing x-rays (taken every year).
  3. After the dental x-rays, the hygienist will start the cleaning by using a tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tarter. The whole time the hygienist will rinse and suction the mouth in order to get rid of debris generated by cleaning.
  4. The next step of cleaning is using polishing tool and a flavored abrasive paste in order to get a nice shine on the teeth and remove surface staining. In addition to the cosmetic aspect of polishing, it makes harder for plaque to latch on to the smooth surface. The debris from this is then rinsed and suctioned away.
  5. The final cleaning step is flossing. This is done in order to remove any debris that may have caught in the teeth during the scaling or polishing steps.
  6. At this point the dentist comes in to examine the x-rays and prod the teeth to check for decay. During this examination the dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer and make sure the patients’ occlusion (the way the teeth come in contact) is good.
  7. The final step will be a procedure called pocket probing, where the dentist uses a specialized tool to measure how deep the space between the tooth and gums is. The dentist will report the depth of the periodontal pockets to be recorded in your chart. Deep pockets are a sign of gum disease.
  8. The very final step will be for the dentist to discuss any issues you may have brought up such as tooth sensitivity or cosmetic procedures such as Invisalign that you may have inquired about, while also reporting their findings from the examination and recommending next steps if necessary.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Nashua that does a comprehensive cleaning and exam, we urge you to schedule a dental appointment at Nashua Dental Group in order to ensure you’re well taken care of.


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The information presented here is not intended or implied to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should be used for informational purposes only.