Dr. Kivel and our team at Soulsmile stress the importance of scheduling routine appointments every six months (possibly more frequently, if your oral health requires). Even with a perfect hygiene routine, tartar can build up and needs to be addressed early and often if you want to prevent dental issues.
Do you know the typical dental cleaning process? A lot of patients actually don’t know the details of what is happening during their cleaning. That’s totally fine! But if you DO want to know …
Our hygienist will start by using a special metal tool called a scaler to scrape built-up plaque and tartar on your teeth and below the gum line. Over time, if plaque isn’t removed on a regular basis, minerals from your saliva are deposited into the plaque biofilm causing it to harden within 24 to 72 hours, turning into tartar. And while you can remove plaque at home, tartar removal requires the help of a dental professional.
We also encourage the use of ultrasonic scalers. Most modern offices are using ultrasonic scalers where possible. Why do we love them? The best quality of an ultrasonic scaler is its ability to clear deposits from deeper pockets under the gums. The tips of these tools and small, which allows them to reach areas a manual tool would have more trouble. There is also a coolant sprayed by the tool that enhances the ability to dislodge plaque and tartar. Some patients have very sensitive gums or are bothered by the vibrations of the ultrasonic. In these rare cases, the patient can definitely request the manual scaler only and we will oblige. But we’d love to see you give it a try!
Finally, our hygienist will then polish and floss each tooth.
Have you had Periodontal Therapy, “SRP’s” or been told you need “deeper cleanings”? If so, please refer to this page.
At least once per year, (possibly more often for those with more dental work or periodontal issues or at patient request) Dr. Kivel will then thoroughly examine each of your teeth, your gums and your mouth meticulously. Signs of gum disease, decay, and other issues will be sought out. Dr. Kivel’s goal is to help you maintain your oral health. We believe in a more preventative non-invasive approach to dentistry. Exams and early detection and treatment are our very best tools to achieve that.
Depending on your age, your dental health, and any issues detected, we may recommend that you have dental X-rays taken. These X-rays can detect issues that may have otherwise been unspotted. We use digital x-rays now, along with most modern offices, greatly reducing the radiation concerns associated with x-rays. If you have special circumstances or desires surrounding x-rays, please let our team know and we will work with you the bets we can.