Dental Exams and Cleanings

Preventing Problems Before They Start

The health of your teeth and mouth is very important to the well-being of your entire body, and while routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.

By routinely seeing your dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:

  • Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
  • Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
  • Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
  • Shorten the time spent in your dentist's office
  • Have a smile that will last a lifetime

The Exam

During your exam, Dr. Callahan will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Dr. Callahan may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. All of our X-rays are digital, the images provided will help Dr. Callahan discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.

Professional Cleanings

Your dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth to determine if there are any problems and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The dental hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to evaluate the health of  your gums and how they adhere to your teeth. We will also assess recession, mobility, and bleeding to determine that no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.

Next, your hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of instruments to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from your teeth. Then your hygienist will use a polishing compound to remove any plaque and stain, floss your teeth and apply fluoride. Cleanings are not painful, but if you have any anxiety about your dental exam, be sure to let your hygienist know. They may offer several anesthetic options to ensure your comfort. If Dr. Callahan or your hygienist finds tooth decay or gum disease, they will talk to you about changing your homecare regime by suggesting different intradental products to effectively clean your teeth and gums. They may also recommend an antimicrobial rinse or other dental treatments. If your teeth and gums are healthy, Dr. Callahan and your hygienist  will recommend that you continue your brushing and flossing routine as usual.