What can I expect on my visit with the Hygienist?
During your visit, your Dentist or Hygienist will review your complete medical and dental history with you. It is very important for your Dentist or Hygienist to know if you are taking any medications or are being treated for any condition that can affect your Periodontal care. The more they know, the better.
A complete oral and periodontal exam will be given. Your Dentist and Hygienist will examine your gums, and check for any gum recession or loose teeth. Also, an examination of your soft tissues will be given, including your tongue, lips, the inside of your cheeks, and the floor of your mouth to evaluate any lumps or bumps that might look unusual or suspicious.
What is a periodontal probe and Why do they use it?
Your dental hygienist will also take a small measuring device called a perio probe and will place it gently between your teeth and gums to record the measurement of gum tissue around each tooth and determine the depth of the pockets surrounding your teeth. Periodontal probing is necessary in determining the health of your gums.
How do they clean my teeth?
A routine procedure of root scaling and planing can be performed to remove any plaque or calculus (tartar) from below the gumline. This is a non-surgical procedure, where the surface of the tooth root are cleaned and smoothed.
Once this is completed, your hygienist will evaluate your teeth for any stain or plaque that might remain on the teeth and can remove them with a rubber cup polish, followed by a professional fluoride application.
Your hygienist will also give you any advice you could want for maintaining your own personal oral health, including diet counseling and promotion of general health.
What about x-rays?
Radiographs (x-rays) may be taken, as determined by your Dentist, which show the bone levels between your teeth so that he/she can check for bone loss or any other pathology that may be present (like cysts or tumors) and assess any tooth decay.
At the end of your hygiene visit, your Dentist will review your periodontal records and discuss any general dentistry concerns and make any further treatment recommendations at that time.