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Cleanings and Exams
Professional Cleanings

Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:

• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. (Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has
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become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease.)
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.

Examinations
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:

• Gum Disease screening
• Oral Cancer screening
• Visual tooth decay evaluation
• Visual gum disease examination
• Gum pocket measurement and tracking
• X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues

Regular examinations are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin

X-rays (Radiographs)
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with X-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:

• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in

Sealants
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.

Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.

Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.

Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum-line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3ml may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.

There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.

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Minor Dental Cracks Are Often More Dangerous Than They Appear
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Many people have tiny hairline cracks in their teeth. They know they are there, but do not worry much about them. If the crack is inside the tooth but not all the way through the enamel, then watching the crack to see if it gets larger may be the best option. However, when the crack completely comes through the enamel, then it needs treatment. If you don't get it treated, it could lead to the loss of your tooth or worse.

How Can a Minor Dental Crack Cause Such Chaos?

Think of a minor dental crack like a tiny divot in the road. Most of the time, that divot is only going to sit there and look unsightly. However, eventually, trucks and cars are going to drive over it and knock some of the cement or blacktop out, causing it to get larger. The same goes with your tooth. Each time you bite down on the cracked tooth, it opens and gets larger, even microscopically. Not only does the crack grow a little at a time, but it also opens enough to allow bacteria in each time. This means the tooth is going to be able to start decaying from within that crack over time.

The only way to ensure that a dental crack does not completely ruin a tooth is to make sure we treat it as soon as it poses a problem. For even a minor crack, we have options. If you have a cracked tooth, or even suspect that a tooth may have a crack in it, contact us and let us take a look.





Enumclaw Dental Center | www.enumclawdentalcenter.com | 360-825-6596
2660 Griffin Ave., Enumclaw, WA 98022



 

 

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