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Dental Hygiene Appointments

  • The focus of these appointments is to educate and motivate our patients to keep their teeth and gums healthy and to perform root planning and/or scaling and polishing.  Toothworx hygienists remove dental biofilm, calculus (tartar - hardened plaque) and extrinsic stain from each tooth surface above the gums (supragingival) and below the gums (subgingival).

  • The average amount of time spent in a hygiene chair per year is 2-4 hours.  The number of hours in a year are 8,760.  It is therefore the responsibility of each patient to take care of their teeth at home.

  • These appointments are very individualized and cannot be based on anyone else’s care.

  • Patients are seen at different recare intervals depending on their individual need for care and should not be based on benefit (insurance) coverage.  Patients who have been diagnosed with generalized gingivitis or any form of periodontitis should be seen more often than 6 months.

  • Hard and soft tissues are assessed by our hygienists.

  • A periodontal screening is completed at every visit with a full mouth of  documented measurements (full mouth probe) completed once a year.  This gives the hygienist a measurement of the depth of pocket around the teeth, the amount of recession, areas of bleeding and suppuration and mobility of the teeth.  This allows the dental hygienists to assess the level of care each patient needs.  What you may be unaware of is that are gums have an area of unattachment around each tooth.  In a healthy mouth, this measures 1-3mm in depth, however, around teeth with gingivitis or periodontitis, this can be much deeper.  These areas are very difficult to clean if they are over 3mm in depth.

  • Bitewing x-rays are taken every 1-2 years depending on cavity (caries) risk.  They allow dental professionals to see bone levels and defects in the hard tissues, including the teeth.

  • Panoramic (full head) x-rays are taken approximately every 3-5 years, but like bitewings, are based on individual needs.  This x-ray allows us to view the jaw bone, nasal cavities, unerupted teeth and roots of the teeth.  This x-ray is very important.

  • Periapical x-rays are taken to see the roots  (apical regions) of teeth or bone levels between teeth.

  • The length of these appointments varies between individuals and  appointment needs. 

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