Your Routine Dental Checkups With Dr. Bassford
You work hard every day to keep your teeth looking and feeling healthy. But daily brushing and flossing aren’t the only steps you can take to ensure your oral health stays in top shape. Our Silver Spring dentist Dr. Alice Bassford recommends twice-annual dental exams and cleanings for each patient. These routine appointments allow our staff to remove plaque and tartar, educate your family about the importance of at-home oral health care, and detect and treat dental problems before they progress.
Explore Dr. Bassford’s guide to routine oral health care to learn more about these appointments.
What are Dental Exams and Cleanings?
Dental exams and cleanings are routine procedures that involve checking the health of your teeth and gums as well as cleaning your teeth to remove any plaque and tartar buildup.
During a dental exam, your dentist will:
- Examine your teeth and gums for decay, gum disease, and other issues
- Take X-rays to check for underlying problems that may not be visible during a visual examination
- Screen your mouth for signs of oral cancer
- Discuss your oral health care routine
Why are Dental Exams and Cleanings Important?
Regular dental exams and cleanings are necessary for several reasons
- Preventative Care: Dental exams and cleanings are a form of preventative care that can help you avoid more serious dental issues in the future. By catching problems early, your dentist can prevent them from worsening down the line.
- Oral Health: Dental exams and cleanings help maintain good oral health by removing plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other issues.
- Overall Health: Poor oral health has been linked to several health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. By maintaining good oral health through regular dental exams and cleanings, you can help reduce your risk of these and other health problems.
The Dental Exam and Cleaning Process
Meeting With the Dentist or Hygienist
Once you’ve checked in, you’ll move to the exam room, where you will meet with your dentist or dental hygienist. They’ll ask you about any dental issues or concerns and review your medical and dental history.
Once the examination is complete, a dental hygienist will clean your teeth using special tools to remove any plaque and tartar buildup. They may also polish your teeth to remove surface stains.
Dr. Bassford will then perform a visual exam of your teeth and gums, looking for any signs of decay, gum disease, or other issues. She’ll also use a dental mirror to get a better view of your teeth and gums.
If necessary, your dentist may take X-rays to check for any underlying dental problems that may not be visible during a visual examination.
Finally, your dentist or dental hygienist may provide information on how to maintain good oral health at home, including proper brushing and flossing techniques and recommendations for oral hygiene products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most dentists recommend having a dental exam and cleaning every six months. However, your dentist may recommend more frequent exams and cleanings if you have a history of dental issues. Talk to your dentist to determine how often you should visit their office for dental checkups.
No, dental exams and cleanings are generally not painful. However, if you have sensitive teeth or gums, your dentist may recommend using a numbing gel to make the cleaning more comfortable. You should discuss your concerns about sensitivity with your dentist at the beginning of your appointment.
Dental exams and cleanings typically take between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the extent of the cleaning and any additional procedures that may be necessary. Further treatments that could extend your appointment include dental sedation, dental sealants, or periodontal treatment.
The cost of a dental checkup can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the dental practice, the specific services included in the checkup, and whether you have dental insurance.
If you have dental insurance, your out-of-pocket costs for a checkup and cleaning will depend on your specific plan and coverage. Some dental insurance plans cover routine checkups and cleanings, while others require a co-pay or deductible. If you’re underinsured or uninsured, talk to your dentist about any in-office financing options they may have.
Discover the Benefits of Routine Dental Checkups at Ase Dental
Dental exams and cleanings in Silver Spring, MD, aren’t just about keeping your teeth clean and shiny. They’re also important for maintaining good overall health and well-being. By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can help prevent more serious dental problems and maintain a healthy smile for years to come.
So don’t neglect your oral health — contact our office today by calling (301) 593-5500 or filling out our online contact form. We proudly serve patients in Silver Spring along with the surrounding areas of Kensington and Wheaton-Glenmont, MD.