Here’s All We Do During your Professional Cleanings

Cheerful patient sitting in a dental chair and holding a mirror while smiling at the camera Some people scoff at the idea of a “professional cleaning” thinking they can do all the same stuff at home, so why waste time and money on the dentist. But our professional cleanings and exams at Pound Ridge Cosmetic Dentistry are so professional, they should probably have an agent. What we do in these twice-yearly events is far beyond anything you can do at home. 

In short, skipping twice-yearly exams and cleanings with the Pound Ridge team may save you a few bucks today, but it will surely cost you thousands down the road. 

Our professional cleanings and exams are critical parts of your oral hygiene regimen. Here’s what we do. 

What is involved in the exam? 

This is what Drs. Smith and Feng are looking for in the examination part of your visit. 

  • Diagnostic dental x-rays — X-rays are crucial in detecting a number of hygiene issues: decay, possible tumors, cysts, and bone loss. We also use x-rays to check the position and alignment of each tooth.     
  • Evaluation of your gums — This is the time we look for signs of periodontitis, gum disease.
  • Oral cancer screening — We check your gums, tissues, throat, tongue, lips, face, and neck for signs of oral cancer.
  • Examination for decay — In addition to x-rays, we use visual clues to check for the beginnings of decay on your teeth.
  • Examination of your dental restorations — We’ll check any prosthetics such as bridges or crowns, along with fillings, veneers, bonding, and the like.

How is your professional cleaning different from what I do at home? 

While your home hygiene is crucial to a healthy mouth, it can’t match the power of our professional cleanings. We use the term prophylaxis because we occasionally throw that word down in Scrabble. Actually, that’s the clinical name. The reason we schedule these twice a year is simple — that’s how long it takes enough plaque to harden into tartar to create a situation that needs to be removed. If you leave tartar on your teeth to expand and creep under your gumline, that’s the start of gum disease.

Here’s what we do in our cleanings: 

  • Calculus (tartar) removal — Calculus in high school or college was a class many wish they could have removed. Calculus on your teeth needs removing, too. Calculus is the clinical name for plaque that has calcified onto your teeth. Plaque is always on there, waiting for you to brush and floss it away every day. But over time some areas tend to form tartar, areas such as the inside of your front bottom teeth. You can’t remove tartar at home; we must chip and break it off with our trusty dental picks.
  • Plaque removal — This sticky, invisible substance forms on your teeth all the time. Along with saliva, food debris and bacteria hang around in plaque. You remove it at home, but we remove every bit of it when we professionally clean.
  • Teeth polishing — The gritty tooth-cleaning paste we apply with our spinning brushes polishes away any remaining plaque and the lighter stains on your enamel.

Now you can see why we need to see you every six months to keep your oral health on track. Call us at Pound Ridge Cosmetic Dentistry, (914) 764-3540, to schedule your next cleaning.


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