Checkups and Cleanings

checkups1Regular checkups and cleanings are part of preventive health; visits twice a year, or every six months, help prevent cavities, advanced dental problems, and halitosis (bad breath). At your checkup, we may take x-rays and intraoral photographs. Dr. DeFinnis will also inspect each tooth in your mouth to look for new concerns, including faulty dental work. Fillings, crowns, and bridges don’t last indefinitely. When they begin to wear out, replacing them early reduces the risk for more serious damage.

If you snore, have chronic headaches, jaw pain, or know that you grind your teeth, tell Dr. DeFinnis. Depending on their cause, these problems may be remedied with dental appliances. After your exam, the doctor will review his findings with you. He’ll answer all of your questions, then work with you to design a treatment plan that suits your needs.

Along with checkups, six-month cleanings are essential to reduce the risk of gum disease. Most people don’t realize, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and about 80% of Americans suffer from the condition. Cleanings allow our hygienist to remove tartar and plaque buildup, primary causes of gum disease. If your gums appear red, swollen, tender, or if they bleed when you brush your teeth, you might have gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.

The hygienist will tell you if you need to alter your homecare routine, use special dental care products, or come in for a deep cleaning. Without treatment, gum disease will escalate. It has also been associated with increased risk for heart attack, stroke, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and a long list of other serious health conditions.