The cornerstone of your healthy smile is the cleaning and exam. Without cleanings and exams, plaque can build up, decay goes unnoticed for far too long, and bacteria can run amok. At Columbus Park Dental on the city’s Upper West Side, we’re passionate about your oral health and want to be your family’s dental home for years to come. We’re here to provide easy, stress-free dental cleanings and dental exams in NYC.
Why are Exams and Teeth Cleanings Important?
Exams and cleanings are preventive care. We’re sure you’ve heard this before, but what does that really mean? What do they prevent? Some of the primary reasons to always stay on top of cleanings and exams include:
- Decay detection: When your dentist is getting a good look at your teeth every six months, we can identify small cavities early, before they become big cavities. A tiny filling is so much easier and less expensive than, say, a root canal or a crown.
- Gum disease prevention and detection: When you get your scheduled cleanings, you’re much more likely to avoid gum disease altogether. This is because dental cleanings remove the tartar that eventually causes gum disease. But, at least half of Americans do get some form of gum disease. In this case, your regular exams and cleanings will help you manage it. A deep cleaning, along with regular dental supervision and regimented home hygiene, can minimize or even reverse gum disease.
- Cardiac event prevention: Plaque from your teeth can enter your bloodstream and put you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. Regular cleanings, however, help to keep plaque at bay.
- Hygiene: Professional dental cleanings can prevent chronic bad breath. If you do develop a chronic bad breath issue, an exam will identify the cause, which we can address with cleaning or treatment.
- Diagnose TMJ: Many patients with TMJ don’t know they have it. They may even be grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw at night without awareness. Meanwhile, headaches and neck tension are nagging and unexplained. Your regular dental exam can help you address all of this.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam
When you come to Columbus Park for an exam, we’ll start by getting a full set of x-rays. This will allow your dentist to see exactly what’s going on with your teeth, gums, and jaw. Once your x-rays are done, Dr. Singh will perform a comprehensive exam, including the following:
- 3D images of your teeth and bite with our scanner
- Review of x-rays
- Visual examination of teeth, gums, lips, and jaw
- Comprehensive oral cancer screening
- Discussion of our findings including occlusion, bite, and restorative work needed
- Discussion of your concerns and goals, including any cosmetic wishes you may have
- Treatment plan, with priorities and phases as needed
What Is Teeth Cleaning?
Dental exams include a professional cleaning. Many dental professionals take for granted that patients know just what happens during a dental cleaning. But, you can’t see the dentist or hygienist working inside your mouth! So how can you be expected to know what we’re doing? Here’s a quick run-down:
- We start by using a mirror and small hand tool called a scaler to scrape away plaque or tartar. If we’re doing a deep clean, this part will be a little more extensive. We’ll scale below the gum line and plane the roots to discourage bacteria from taking up residence again.
- The next step is to use an electric interdental brush and a special gritty toothpaste to thoroughly clean and polish your teeth.
- We’ll floss your teeth after brushing to remove any plaque or tartar residue that might be left behind from scaling, and you’re all set!
This type of cleaning is typically indicated twice a year. Some patients may have circumstances that require them to come back more often, but we’ll let you know if that’s you!
Dental Cleanings and Dental Exams in NYC
We’re your Upper West Side neighborhood dentist, we’re here for cleanings and dental exams in NYC, and we may be in-network for your dental insurance plan! Give us a call today to set up an appointment and make Columbus Park your dental home for years and decades to come.