At Glen Ellyn Dentistry, we encourage all of our patients to maintain good oral health through a consistent routine of at-home oral hygiene and professional dental hygiene exams because everyone can benefit from ongoing preventive dental care. With our thorough and consistent dental hygiene appointments, we can work with you to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health for life.
What To Expect During a Dental Hygiene Exam
A dental hygiene exam appointment consists of two basic parts: a professional dental cleaning with a dental hygienist and an examination with the dentist.
Professional Dental Cleaning (Dental Prophylaxis)
When plaque (sticky, white biofilm) remains on the teeth, it eventually hardens into calculus (tartar). This buildup can accumulate above and below the gum line, and removing it is an important step in preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum disease) from developing.
During a professional dental cleaning, a dental hygienist uses special dental instruments to scale and polish your teeth. This helps to remove calculus, plaque, and stains from the tooth enamel both above and just below the gum line.
During a routine exam, our dentists evaluate the oral cavity and neighboring anatomy, performing a variety of examinations. Routine dental appointments include the following examinations:
A thorough tooth decay examination, checking all of the surfaces of the teeth for soft spots and cavities
An evaluation of the gum tissues, looking for signs of infection, inflammation, redness, bleeding, and pockets that could indicate periodontal disease
An oral cancer screen, looking for any abnormalities in the soft tissues of the face, neck, cheeks, lips, tongue, throat, and gums that could indicate oral cancer
An examination of the soundness and condition of any existing dental work or restorations such as fillings, dental crowns, dental bonding, or others
Depending on your oral care schedule and current oral health, we might also recommend taking a set of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs) to help us detect signs of tooth decay, cysts, infection, tumors, and bone loss not visible to the naked eye. They can also help us evaluate the positions and alignment of your teeth, their roots, and your temporomandibular joints.
Common Issues Addressed During Dental Hygiene Exams
Dental hygiene exams provide the perfect opportunity to address any past, present, ongoing, or new oral health concerns with our dentists.
If we detect signs of any developing oral health issues, such as tooth decay, soft spots on your enamel, cavities, gum recession, or signs of periodontal disease, we discuss these and any recommended treatments or actions with you thoroughly during your appointment.
We also dedicate time during routine exams to patient education. We use this time to talk with you about your at-home oral hygiene habits and how you can adjust them to improve your health. We provide you with recommendations for better tools and techniques in addition to areas where you can focus your attention until you return to our office for your next exam and cleaning.
How Often Should You Have a Dental Hygiene Exam?
We recommend that most healthy adults visit the dentist once every six months for a routine dental examination and professional cleaning.
We might recommend that children, adults with periodontal disease, individuals undergoing orthodontic treatments, and individuals with certain risk factors for oral health problems visit our office more regularly for examinations, cleaning, treatment, and/or maintenance.
If you are concerned about your oral health or schedule of routine appointments, our dentists can answer your questions and talk with you about the schedule of hygiene appointments and exams that is most appropriate for you.
Take Your Dental Care to the Next Level at Glen Ellyn Dentistry
To help you achieve and maintain your oral health, we provide a comprehensive list of preventive and general dentistry treatments and services, including dental hygiene exams, fluoride, dental sealants, and more. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life. To request an appointment, we welcome you to contact Glen Ellyn Dentistry at 630-942-0727 today.
Get Started Today!
We look forward to welcoming new patients into our office and seeing our existing patients again. To request an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office at 630-942-0727 or complete the appointment request form on our website.