We understand that the dental chair may not be your favorite place. This is why, at Premier Dental of Johnstown, we place a huge emphasis on preventive dentistry. For many years, dentistry was focused on fixing problems as they arose, but today, Dr. Cook and her team focus on preventing problems before they occur.
The most first and most important part of preventative dentistry the cleaning and checkup exam. Consistent cleanings and visits with the doctor allows an assessment of the stability and condition of your mouth and allows Dr. Cook the ability to recommend treatments or home care techniques that may prevent more serious or costly problems.
During a teeth cleaning, your Johnstown dental hygienist gently removes plaque and tartar buildup from exposed tooth surfaces. The hygienist may use various hand instruments or an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and the build up we call calculus.
If you have healthy teeth and gums, a professional teeth cleaning should not cause any pain!
If you have receding gums, cavities, or gum disease, some discomfort is possible. Make sure to let your hygienist know if anything is painful while they are working.
The dental hygienist may also take measurements of your gum tissues. This is an important step in determining the health of the bone and gums that support your teeth. During these measurements, you will feel the hygienist gently “poking” around the gums of each tooth.
While the hygienist is cleaning your teeth, he or she will also be evaluating your entire mouth for areas of risk or concern. Your hygienist will inform Dr. Cook of these areas during the exam portion of the appointment.
The professional term used for a dental cleaning is “prophylaxis”. This is the word that may appear on paperwork from our Johnstown dental office or your dental insurance company. “Prophylaxis” is defined as an action taken to prevent disease. Regular teeth cleanings are part of our preventive dentistry in Johnstown.
By consistently removing bacterial buildup and calcifications, as well as identifying the early indicators of problems, teeth cleanings can prevent cavities and gum disease!
In most cases, a periodic oral evaluation by a dentist accompanies each teeth cleaning with your dental hygienist. During a checkup, or a ”periodic oral evaluation”, your dentist performs an in-depth evaluation of your teeth, gums and tissues of the oral cavity. You may feel the dentist pushing or poking on the teeth. This is a normal way to asses the integrity of the enamel in areas that might look stained or darkened. Your Johnstown dentist may use a tool called an explorer to check the edges of any fillings or crowns you already have.
In addition to the teeth and gums, Dr. Cook will also evaluate the soft tissues of the mouth the alignment of your teeth, and the function of your jaw joints (TMJs). The dentist will carefully look at any areas of concern that either you or your local Johnstown dental hygienist have noticed.
After gathering all of this information, Dr. Cook diagnoses any problems that currently need treatment and inform you of any signs in your mouth that point to an area of risk or disease.
Yes they are! Dental x-rays are often the only way identify if you have cavities between your teeth. Additionally, x-rays allow your Dr. Cook to screen for problems in the bone surrounding the teeth, including the bone loss associated with periodontal disease, infections around roots of teeth and other problems that can occur in the jawbones. Modern dental x-rays are very safe.
Digital technology has allowed us to significantly reduce the amount of radiation needed to obtain a typical dental x-ray. In fact, you are exposed to higher amounts of radiation through natural environmental exposure than from your routine dental x-ray. One dental X-ray exposes a patient to the same amount of radiation as eating around 50 bananas! (Bananas contain a small percentage of radioactive potassium).
Do not wait until something hurts!
Waiting until something hurts usually means you have waited too long. Many dental problems need fixed well before the patient feels any symptoms. By having your teeth checked regularly, we are able to intercept problems before they cause any pain.
By catching dental problems early, the treatment is less extensive and less expensive!
Risk categories in dentistry include caries (or tooth decay), gum and periodontal disease, bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth), and TMJ disorders. As Dr. Cook notices signs or symptoms in any of these categories, she will make recommendations to help reduce or mitigate your risks and keep you healthy.
Has it been a while since your last teeth cleaning? When was your last checkup with a dentist? Maybe you are new in town and have not found your dental home. Call our friendly team of dental professionals in Johnstown and get back on schedule. Your cleaning starts with one of our superb Johnstown hygienists checking your teeth for any plaque build up, removing any they find and giving your teeth a thorough cleaning. Your board-certified Johnstown dentist, Dr. Emily Cook, will review your x-rays and examine any problem spots that show up in the exam. If you are ready to get your oral health back in order, call Premier Dental of Johnstown today or request an appointment online.
Premier Dental of Johnstown provides quality general dental care for residents of Johnstown, New Albany, Mt. Vernon, and the surrounding areas in Licking County.
Dental anxiety is a common problem that often keeps patients from visiting the dentist. Explore the various types of dental sedation that are available to help you relax and calm any fears you have of the dentist.