Cleanings & Prevention in Omaha Nebraska
Regular cleanings and check-ups help preserve healthy teeth and gums and prevent the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions. It starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet, and continues in the dental office with regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays, sealants and fluoride. All of these work together to protect your teeth!
At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Digital X-Ray Examination: Checks for decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss and also helps determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral Cancer Screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum Disease Evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Tooth Decay Examination: Check tooth surfaces for decay with special dental instruments.
- Existing Restorations Examination: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Professional Dental Cleaning: Includes calculus removal, plaque removal, and teeth polishing.
Many extractions and restorative treatments are performed because tooth decay has become too severe for the dentist to save the tooth. Diagnodent is a safe fluorescent laser that detects hidden tooth decay accurately, quickly, and in its earliest stages.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Allows for the investigation of suspicious areas on otherwise virgin teeth
- Completely safe and non-invasive
- Helps reduce future dental procedures
- More accurate than any other diagnostic tool
- Used in conjunction with digital low exposure x-rays
The Diagnodent process is performed within the scope of a regular dental checkup. It is strikingly similar to having a laser pointer aimed at the teeth. As each tooth is scanned, the amount of reflected laser light is recorded to produce a digital readout. Once Dr. Bellinghiere determines which teeth are suffering from decay, a plan can be formulated and treatment options can be discussed. In most cases, the early detection of caries means more treatment options and a greater chance of saving the affected tooth.
Digital radiography is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. The image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.
Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease. A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken during check-up visits and are recommended once or twice a year depending on the patients dental health to detect new dental problems.
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface. Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits. Sealants are easily applied by Dr. Bellinghiere or our dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.
A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. It starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease, incuding brushing your teeth and flossing.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night). Gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.