A critical part in maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums is proper dental hygiene. It is recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at a minimum of once every 6 months. During your hygiene appointment your hygienist will asses your current dental health, take x-rays (typically bite-wings once every year and panorex once every 3 years) and determine whether you simply need a traditional prophylaxis (cleaning), a scaling and root planing (deeper cleaning that cleans down into the gum line), or a full mouth debridement. After your cleaning, Dr. Pulido and your hygienist will thoroughly look over your x-rays, dentition, and tissues to make sure your oral health is in good order. Included in this exam Dr. Pulido and your hygienist look for signs of oral cancer; in addition to this exam, an oral cancer screening utilizing the state-of-the-art Identifi Oral Cancer Screening System will be administered once every year.
A professional cleaning where the hygienist will use a variety of instruments to remove any plaque and foreign material from your teeth. Your hygienist will use several techniques to check for decay, cavities, and any other dental problems that are present.
Full Mouth Debridement
This is typically spread out over the course of 2 appointments that are separated by 2-3 weeks (time for the gums to heal and inflammation to subside) where tartar, calculus, plaque, and other foreign material are removed. A full mouth debridement is necessary when the plaque and calculus build up is so severe that it interferes with Dr. Pulido’s ability to perform a comprehensive oral evaluation.
A varnish that is applied to children’s teeth to assist in preventing decay on their adult teeth.
A fluoride varnish that is used to assist in preventing tooth decay and help with dry mouth.
Symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease include bleeding gums, bad breath, heavy tartar buildup, and bone loss. Our Perio therapy program helps patients regain control over their oral health so that they don’t risk losing teeth to gum disease. Untreated periodontal disease allows bone loss to continue to the point where teeth become mobile and fall out. The condition is also directly related to systemic health complications like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction, and premature birth rates. During our deep cleanings, disease-causing bacteria are removed so that gum tissue can heal itself. We also offer Arestin, which is a locally administered antibiotic capsule. It is placed in areas of severe infection and provides dramatic results in the treatment of gum disease. The treatments may be broken up into 2 different appointments, treating one side of the mouth at a time.
Indentafi Oral Cancer Screening System
What do Aaron Spelling, Babe Ruth, Roger Ebert, Jim Thorpe, Tony Gwynn, and Michael Douglas all have in common? They all have been diagnosed with one form or another of oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 43,250 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and approximately 8,000 people will die from oral cancer this year (roughly 1 person every hour). The reason for such a high death rate for this form of cancer has been due in large part to the cancer being discovered in its late stages. This is why our office performs an oral exam at every Hygiene appointment, and we have implemented an oral screening program of once every year. Identafi® uses white, violet, and green-amber wavelengths of light to excite oral tissue in distinct and unique ways that provides Dr. Pulido with more visual information resulting in increased confidence for recommending follow-up care. For more details, click here.People who should consider having this screening more frequently than once per year are: any form of tobacco users, heavy alcohol users, those who have the Human papillomavirus (more specifically HPV16 and HPV18), and those with a previous oral cancer diagnosis.
Routine preventive cleanings are an effective way to combat gum disease, bone loss, bad breath, and loss of teeth as we age. During prophylactic cleanings, calcified tartar deposits are removed from the teeth and root surfaces. We also polish away superficial stains from things like coffee or tobacco products. At cleaning appointments, we will assess the level of gum attachment and bone height around your teeth, so that gum disease can be addressed early on when it is easily reversible. We also recommend that every patient receives a fluoride treatment at each hygiene visit. A customized oral hygiene plan is reviewed with each patient. We understand not everyone is able to brush or floss a certain way, so we’ll discuss different options that can work for you, like water flossing or electric toothbrush styles.