Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with x-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run. Early detection can help prevent the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:
At Ridgeline Dental, our dental team uses digital x-rays, which have several advantages over traditional film based x-rays. They emit up to 90% less radiation, are ready for viewing almost instantaneously, and do not require harmful chemicals to process.
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.
Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.
Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, and gums that are red, inflamed or swollen.
Gum disease and tooth decay are two different diseases. Gum disease starts to deteriorate the bone, and if deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually decrease the bone levels and can lead to bone loss.
Gum disease is not curable, however, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.