Our excellent dental hygienists will work collaboratively with Dr. Durward to come up with an individualized plan for you. Dental cleanings or dental hygiene visits will range in frequency from every 3-6 months, depending on your susceptibility to gum disease or bone loss. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that can ultimately cause tooth loss. The bacteria stick to the surface of the tooth and cause inflammation like bleeding and pus around the gum tissues and bone. Periodontal disease can contribute to bad breath, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, respiratory problems, low birth weight babies and even erectile dysfunction.
During your dental hygiene visit, your dental hygienist will update your medical and dental history and measure your gum pocket depths. Measuring the pocket depths allows us to track your gum health carefully and stay on top of any signs of periodontal disease. We may also take necessary digital radiographs to enable us to diagnose cavities, bone loss, infections, cysts or tumours.
The next step in your assessment will be a thorough head and neck examination. This is an important exam to have at least once per year. This will include an oral cancer examination, examination of your teeth and gums and assessment of the function of your jaws and bite.
Once you and your dental hygienist have reviewed and agreed upon your treatment plan, your treatment will begin. This will likely include scaling and root planing (debridement) to remove plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. The dental cleaning is done using ultrasonic instrumentation and/or hand instruments. For those patients with sensitive teeth, we offer many desensitizing options. There are excellent desensitizing agents available that we can brush onto the root surfaces, place into the gum tissue or we can also use local anaesthetic. Your comfort is our concern.
Some of your teeth may then be polished to remove stains. Lastly, you may receive a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth, prevent decay and/or decrease sensitivity.
Your dental hygienist can provide you with information about nutritional counselling, oral hygiene instruction, smoking cessation, your risk of dental decay and products that may benefit your oral health. Please don’t hesitate to ask our dental hygienists any questions or concerns that you may have.