Dental Exams & Cleanings

At Elizabeth Township Family Dentistry, we recommend a minimum of two preventive visits per year, per the American Dental Association's guidelines. During your checkups and cleanings, we remove plaque and tartar buildup, look for issues like gum disease and cavities, and check existing dental work.

Why Do I Need a Cleaning If I Brush and Floss?

If you brush and floss like a pro at home, you may not think teeth cleanings twice a year are necessary. However, even with the best brushing and flossing routine, there are areas in the mouth that you can't get clean with a toothbrush and floss. 

Without professional teeth cleanings, you are at increased risk for developing gum disease and cavities. Routine cleanings are essential for adults because our oral health needs constantly change over the years. 

During your six-month hygiene appointments, our dental hygienists will perform a thorough teeth cleaning. The cleaning involves flossing between each tooth and brushing all surfaces of your teeth to ensure that they're as clean as possible. The final step is tooth polishing that leaves your teeth with that super-smooth, clean feel.

Personalized Teeth Cleanings 

Everyone has unique dental needs, particularly when it comes to gum care. If our dentists find that you're prone to gingivitis, they may recommend three or four cleanings a year to prevent it from worsening.

If we discover advanced gum disease called periodontitis, our hygienist will recommend deep cleaning treatment. Also called scaling and root planing, deep cleaning involves gently removing all plaque and tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline. Our hygienist then smooths the root surfaces of your teeth to promote healing and reattachment of gum tissue.

Why Do I Need Routine Dental Exams?

In addition to a thorough teeth cleaning, we also recommend dental checkups every six months. These exams allow our dentists to monitor your oral health and look for potential issues while they are still small. The sooner we find these problems, the sooner we can treat them to prevent them from worsening. The benefits are a healthier smile and a practical way to keep your dental costs to a minimum.

What Happens During a Dental Exam?

Before our dentists begin your exam, they'll ask if you've experienced any changes since your last visit, including bleeding gums or tooth sensitivity.

  1. During the first part of your exam, our dentists carefully check your teeth to look for cavities, loose or broken teeth, and old failing dental work.
  2. Next is a periodontal evaluation, where we look for signs of gingivitis and assess your risk for cavity and gum disease. 
  3. Our dentists also examine your jaw and test your dental bite to ensure your teeth are meeting correctly.
  4. We also perform an oral cancer screen as part of every dental exam to look for abnormalities. 
  5. We need current dental x-rays, so our dentists have the complete picture of your oral health. If your x-rays need updating, that will take place at your exam. 

After your exam, our dentists will explain their findings and whether they have detected tooth decay, gingivitis, or signs of teeth grinding (bruxism). If you have issues we need to address, we'll discuss your options and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Is It Time to Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning?

At Elizabeth Township Family Dentistry, we focus on prevention because it is the key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and minimizing your dental costs. If you're due for your next dental exam and cleaning, please call our Elizabeth, PA dental office to schedule. We also serve patients in the communities of Jefferson, Irwin, North Huntingdon, and all surrounding areas.