What to Expect at Your Routine
Dental Exam & Cleaning

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Dental exams & Cleanings in Portland, ME

If you have been postponing scheduling your routine dental exam and cleaning, now is the time to make a change. After all, taking care of your teeth and gums is a critical step in living a healthy lifestyle for years to come. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist or you’re not sure of what to expect at your next dental check-up, Thrive Dental Studio is here to help you every step of the way. Here’s what you can expect at your next dental cleaning and exam in Portland, Maine.

Why Are Dental Exams Important?

Regular dental exams are an important part of keeping your mouth in tip-top shape. While you may think that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong, a dentist may be able to detect underlying issues that you never noticed before, such as cavities, bone loss (periodontal disease) erosion, or gum recession. Having a dentist examine the state of your oral health is critical to detecting minor problems and addressing them before they progress into more serious health concerns. Additionally, visiting a dentist regularly is an essential part of preventing diseases from developing in the first place.

What Takes Place During an Exam?

Most steps that occur during routine dental check-ups are fast and painless. Most dental check-ups include:

    • X-rays
    • Periodontal charting
    • Oral cancer screening
    • Reviewing radiographs & probing numbers (level of bone or gum loss)
    • Identifying soft tissue lesions

Checking for cancer and lesions in your mouth may sound threatening, however, these steps are typically no big deal. Most dental exams are as simple as allowing the dentist and his team to examine your teeth and gums while you lie down and relax. The whole process, including the exam and cleaning, usually takes no more than sixty minutes from start to finish.

Are Dental Cleanings the Same as Dental Exams?

While most dental exams involve a professional dental cleaning from a dental hygienist, exams and cleanings are not the same thing. Routine dental cleanings involve the supragingival (above the gums) cleaning of teeth to remove any calculus and plaque. They are not diagnostic procedures. While exams are primarily used to identify potential oral health concerns, dental cleanings are administered to physically remove any tartar and plaque buildup. This process often allows the dentist to see any lesions hiding underneath the plaque, as well as aids in preventing gum disease and recession.

How Much Do Dental Exams & Cleanings Cost?

Dental insurance is as important to have as normal health insurance. (though do not be mistaken, they do not work in the same way — think of a coupon with A LOT of restrictions) Under most dental insurance plans, patients are permitted to have a routine dental exam and cleaning twice a year with no cost to them. However, if other appointments or more invasive procedures are necessary, additional costs may be incurred that may or may not be paid for partly or fully by insurance.

How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?

For most people, visiting the dentist every six months is sufficient to maintain good oral health. However, some people will require more frequent visits. The best way to determine how often you should see the dentist is to be examined by a dentist.

If it has been a while since you have had a dental exam or professional cleaning, don’t put it off for another day. Dr. Dan Figueiredo and his experienced team take pride in offering superior dental services to families in the Portland ME area. We strive to provide high-quality, compassionate, patient-focused care to our patients of all ages. Located off of highway 295 with ample parking, a close proximity to popular retail and grocery stores and convenient availability on evenings and Fridays, scheduling your bi-annual dentist appointment has never been easier. Contact us today or schedule online to see how pleasant practicing good oral hygiene can be.