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Posts for tag: dental cleanings

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
July 13, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Teeth CleaningYour dental and gingival health keeps your smile bright and attractive and your overall health vibrant, too. Preventive dentistry assists your careful home maintenance routines. Read here how Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Bernard Pak, and his team at Kirkland Smile Dental Care provide professional cleanings and other outstanding services.

The benefits of professional teeth cleaning

The American Dental Association (ADA) tells both children and adults to brush their teeth twice a day for a full two minutes. Flossing daily is essential as well, but what's the point of these two common oral hygiene practices?

It's plaque removal. Your dentist in Kirkland understands that without brushing and flossing, bacteria-filled plaque and rock-hard tartar accumulate, eventually decaying teeth and causing destructive gum disease.

However, at-home hygiene can't do it all. You need the help of a skilled dental hygienist to scale your teeth with special instruments, removing what you cannot reach with toothbrush and floss.

Other benefits of a professional cleaning at Kirkland Smiles Dental care are:

  1. Your hygienist will alert Dr. Pak to any problems she sees while cleaning your teeth--decay, gingivitis, loose crowns or cracked fillings, and sores in the mouth, as examples.
  2. Your teeth will feel and look shiny and clean. A thorough cleaning removes many surfaces stains, too.
  3. Your hygienist will show you ways to improve how you brush and floss at home. She may recommend using a water flosser, an electric toothbrush or a special mouth rinse to keep your breath fresh.
  4. Your systemic health will improve. When your teeth and gums are healthy, your risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, low birth weight babies, and even dementia decreases significantly.

Also, your hygienist and your dentist will assess your gums, tongue, back of the throat, lips, and other soft oral tissues for signs of oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that more than 51,000 of these dangerous cancers will be diagnosed in the United States 2018. Dental teams across the country help protect patients just like you with early detection and treatment to achieve complete cures.

Finally, your hygienic cleaning sets the stage for another important preventive dentistry service: the oral examination. Dr. Pak thoroughly inspects teeth and gums for:

  • Decay
  • Gum disease
  • Dental alignment
  • Condition of fillings, crowns, sealants, bonding, veneers, and more
  • Jaw joint function
  • Signs of excessive wear (sometimes related to teeth grinding)

He will present his findings to you, recommending any needed restorations or suggested cosmetic work.

Are your teeth clean?

They will be after a hygienic cleaning at Kirkland Smiles Dental Center in Kirkland, WA. Dr. Pak sees patients for exams and cleanings every six months or as needed. Please contact his office team today for your appointment: (425) 893-9500.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
April 14, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
RegularCleaningsBenefitBothYourDentalHealthandYourSmile

Dental cleanings are an important part of regular dental office visits. Performed by a dental hygienist or dentist, cleanings serve two purposes: to remove bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened deposits of plaque) from tooth surfaces missed during daily brushing and flossing; and to remove stains that can dull your smile.

There are different degrees of cleaning, including root planing that removes plaque and calculus deep below the gum line, usually for patients affected by periodontal (gum) disease. For patients in good oral health, the basic cleaning approach is known as prophylaxis, a term derived from the Greek for guarding or preventing beforehand. The techniques used in a prophylaxis remove both “coronal” (tooth surfaces visible above the gum line) plaque and staining, providing both therapeutic and cosmetic benefits.

A typical prophylaxis includes a procedure known as scaling. Hygienists use special instruments known as scalers to remove plaque and calculus by hand, or an ultrasonic device that vibrates plaque loose and is flushed away with water. The procedure removes that rough coating you often feel as you rub your tongue against your teeth, leaving the tooth surfaces feeling smooth.

Tooth polishing is a subsequent procedure to scaling that also removes plaque and surface stains. Polishing is carried out with a motorized instrument with a rubber cup in which a polishing (or “prophy”) paste is contained. The hygienist moves the rapidly rotating cup filled with the paste over the tooth surface to remove plaque and stains. The end result is a highly smooth surface and a much shinier appearance.

People with dental insurance plans are often concerned tooth polishing may be viewed strictly as a cosmetic procedure, and thus not fully qualify for benefits. This should not be the case if coded properly: tooth polishing is part of the overall prophylaxis to remove plaque and staining. The primary purpose is therapeutic and preventive; the cosmetic effect is a by-product. Most dental plans will cover one or two prophylaxes (scaling and tooth polishing) a year, but there are variations so individuals should check their plans.

If you would like more information on dental cleaning, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Polishing.”