Although home-based tooth brushing and flossing help remove plaque, only a professional cleaning, as provided by a dentist or a dental hygienist, can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove the hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) that builds up on teeth. The hygienists use a series of metal hand instruments to clean your teeth.
After your teeth have been cleaned, they are polished to remove plaque and stains on the tooth surface. The polish contains an abrasive substance and fluoride. It is applied using a small rotating rubber cup or brush attached to the dental hand piece.
The hygienist might offer additional instructions for you to follow at home, based on the results of your exam. Don't hesitate to ask us for instructions about brushing or flossing, or general care questions about your teeth and gums.
X-rays might or might not be taken during your checkup. The dentist will consider your clinical examination, dental history, and risk for developing cavities based on your X-rays.
If any oral health problems are identified during your examination, the dentist will make recommendations for the next steps. These might include a referral to another oral health care specialist, additional diagnostic tests or advice to return for restoration work or additional oral health care.