Dental Exams and Cleanings
Regular cleanings and checkups are required to ensure a healthy mouth and ensure that onset of tooth decay or gum disease is found and treated early. A significant relationship between oral health and systemic (full body) health has been established over the past 25 years. Treating diseased gums and decayed teeth early positively affects many chronic health problems. In the United States, three out of every four adults will develop a form of gum disease during their lifetime. This can be accelerated by stress, illness, poor oral health, and the aging process, etc. Diseased gums will not heal on their own, and require professional care and treatment.
At Dr. Colospate’s office, each dental cleaning and checkup we access the health of the gums, measuring and recording these numbers to determine the health of the gum tissue and underlying bone. A visual and palpation oral cancer exam is performed, and annually an enhanced oral cancer exam is performed with ViziLite technology. Dental X-rays are taken annually, and intraoral pictures are recorded. Teeth are checked for early onset decay, ill-fitting fillings, potential cracks, and potential mobility. A full assessment of your gum and tooth health is determined during these appointments, followed by your dental cleaning and fluoride treatment. Should additional appointments be required, or a series of cleanings needed to treat an infection, your oral health findings will be shared and following appointments scheduled.
Maintaining Good Oral Health
In addition to receiving preventive care in our McLean dental office, a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is essential to your oral and physical health. Ideally, a diet of reduced carbohydrates (sugars) will help with tarter control and potential decay. The bacteria that live within our mouths consume sugars as their food source, metabolize the sugar, and secrete acids, which cause tooth decay. Increased sugars increase the bacterial count and the amount of acid effecting your teeth. Additionally, carbonated drinks have a higher acidity and cause a breakdown of the enamel structure.
Dr. Colospate’s office works to educate our patients as to how and why tooth decay and gum disease occurs, and how to mitigate it through professional and at home care. Our office provides in-office fluoride treatments to increase the strength of your enamel, as well as take-home fluorides and calcium pastes if you have increased susceptibility to tooth decay. We also recommend increased frequencies of dental cleanings with susceptibility to gum disease and decay and the recommended use of an electric toothbrush.
Dr. Colospate and our team work with you to meet your specific preventive oral needs and goals; both Dr. Colospate and your hygienist are highly experienced in successfully treating gum disease and preventing further decay. Utilizing a team approach to provide education about your specific oral health needs and incorporating your goals, we will listen to your thoughts and concerns and together achieve optimum oral health.