Dr. Stephen A. Price


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What Kind of Cleaning do you Need?

By: | Monday, May 15th, 2017 | Gum Disease

Monday, May 15th, 2017

When you schedule a dental checkup, you have certain expectations of what your dentist will do. In our Burke office, our thorough exam process may involve x-rays (depending on when you had them last). We will use small mirrors and instruments to check the surfaces of your teeth for softness, and will look at any restorations you have to assess structural soundness. A final aspect of the routine exam is to look at the gums. We don’t just look, though, we measure.

The standard of care for gum disease includes measuring the depth of spacing between each tooth and the soft tissue that surrounds it. The more space that has formed, the more inflammation is indicated. Depending on the extent of inflammation, what you expect next – your routine cleaning – may be scheduled for another day.

A Look at Process

The way that teeth-cleanings are performed is dictated by gum health. The routine cleanings that are performed in our office are conducted with the intent of removing debris and plaque or tartar that have accumulated around and in between teeth. To undergo such a cleaning when you have colonies of bacteria beneath the surface would be, well, pointless.

Let’s talk Periodontitis

The first indications of gum disease usually include minor nuisances like bad breath or a little bleeding when you brush. These symptoms cannot be explained away and they should prompt you to obtain dental care right away. When we treat this phase, known as gingivitis, we may be able to prevent bacteria from moving into the periodontal area of the gums.

Periodontitis is chronic inflammation from infection caused by the bacteria that live in plaque. It is a disease process that spreads inward, toward the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. A routine cleaning does little to resolve this severe problem. To do so, we suggest a deep cleaning, otherwise known as scaling and root planing.

Scaling and root planing are two techniques that eradicate existing infection by removing the culprits, bacteria. The procedure is performed with local anesthetic to maintain comfort, and may be conducted in a series of treatments in order to address different areas of the mouth.

Prevention is always a better path to follow, and we’d like to support you toward that goal with the dental cleaning that is right for your needs. Call (703)750-9404 for an appointment with Dr. Price.



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