Silver Spring, MD
It has never been easier to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Why? Modern general dentistry is largely concerned with preventing oral health problems, rather than treating them. One of the most important pillars of preventative dentistry is routine appointments!
Your routine appointment here at Metropolitan Dental Specialty Group will generally consist of a dental exam and professional cleaning. Along with proper at-home oral hygiene, regular exams and cleanings help you and your family avoid potential problems with your teeth and gums.
Routine checkups allows us to monitor the status of your oral health, and catch tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues in their earliest stages. Catching potential problems before they develop into major complications saves you a significant amount of time, money, and discomfort associated with restorative treatment. If you are in need of restorative dentistry, you can rest assured knowing we use cutting-edge technology and the safest, most effective techniques.
During your exam, we may utilize digital x-rays or dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT scans) to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. These advanced imaging devices help us diagnose tooth decay, fractures, and other damage that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Oral Cancer Screening
Most routine checkups also include an oral cancer screening, which is split into a visual and physical exam. The goal of a screening is to ensure there are no cancerous or precancerous lesions, lumps, or tissue abnormalities. However, it is important to note that screenings are largely precautionary, not diagnostic.
During the visual portion of the screening, we will take a brief look at the gums, cheeks, tongue, other soft-tissues, neck, head, and nasal cavity for lesions, discolorations, asymmetries, and other visual issues. During the physical portion of the screening, we will feel around these areas for inflammation, masses, tenderness, and immobile tissue.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Your dental cleaning will take place either before or after your checkup examination. During your cleaning, your doctor or our dental hygienist will use a tool known as an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque, tartar (calcified plaque), and bacteria. This amazing device uses high-frequency vibrations and a liquid spray to produce microscopic bubbles.
These bubbles then implode on the surface of your teeth, effectively breaking up plaque and tartar deposits while bursting the cell walls of bacteria. As a result, this ultrasonic method is actually safer and more effective than traditional metal scalers.
The Importance of Preventative Dentistry
Ultimately, preventative dentistry is designed to stifle the growth of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a thin biofilm that sticks to the teeth and contains harmful bacteria. In fact, this bacteria is a direct cause of the two most common oral health problems: tooth decay and gum disease.
The bacteria in plaque and tartar feed on the sugars and carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis. While they feed, they produce acids that eat away the enamel and cause cavities. In response to this bacteria, your immune system will produce toxins that unfortunately target health tissues as well, resulting in the infection we call gum disease.
As you known, it is always easier to prevent these problems than it is to treat them. Avoiding plaque and tartar buildup is as simple as brushing and flossing your teeth, and scheduling regular appointments.
Schedule Your Appointment
If it’s been awhile since your last visit, it may be time for a dental exam! To schedule your appointment call (301) 585-0400 today!