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Dental Checkups & Cleanings – Portland, OR

Stop Oral Health Issues Before They Start

It’s common knowledge that brushing daily and flossing regularly are key for preventing things like toothaches and cavities. Unfortunately, healthy at-home dental hygiene habits can only go so far to protect your smile from serious problems. That’s why professional organizations like the American Dental Association recommend getting dental checkups and cleanings every six months. These quick and easy appointments can stop oral health issues before they start, plus they’re often covered by dental insurance. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup, we invite you to give us a call and schedule your next appointment!

Why Are Regular Dental Checkups & Cleanings Important?

Woman smiling during dental checkup and cleaning in Portland

You may be thinking to yourself: “My teeth look and feel fine, do I really need to visit a dentist twice a year?” In short, the answer is yes! Your routine checkups and cleanings serve several important purposes, including:

  • Keep your smile bright & shiny: Everyone wants a bright, white smile! While daily brushing and flossing are key for keeping most of the discoloration away, a biannual polishing of your pearly whites will help remove deeper stains that you can’t remove yourself.
  • Prevent painful and expensive future issues: Most oral health issues develop without being noticed until they start to cause pain or complications. With routine checkups, we can spot and stop these issues long before they cause you pain or cost you extra money.
  • Detect systemic health issues early: Did you know that over 90% of systemic health issues show symptoms in the mouth? During your checkups and cleanings, we check for warning signs of problems like oral cancer, diabetes, acid reflux, heart disease, and much more.

What To Expect During a Dental Checkup

Man smiling during his dental checkup in Portland

During the checkup portion of your appointment, your Portland dentist Dr. Russ Teasdale will take the time to catch up with you, which will include updating your records, discussing any symptoms or discomfort you’ve been experiencing, and answering any questions you may have. Then, he’ll examine your teeth, gums, and other oral structures. In some cases, we may take X-rays to investigate the health of your tooth roots and jawbone. He will also check restorations like crowns, fillings, dentures, dental implants, or veneers, as well as a gum health check and an oral cancer screening.

Afterwards, he’ll review his finings with you. If any issues were detected, such as cavities or gum disease, he’ll explain the problems and how he recommends moving forward to treat it. You’ll work together to create a custom plan for getting your oral health back on track. This could include scheduling follow-up appointments for treatments like tooth-colored fillings or crowns, or it may focus more on improving your at-home oral hygiene routine.

What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning

Closeup of patient getting a professional dental cleaning in Portland

The other half of your dental checkup will be dedicated to cleaning your teeth. One of our skilled dental hygienists will use a keen eye and specialized tools to remove the plaque and tartar that have built up on your teeth. Next, we’ll use a prescription strength polishing paste to buff the surfaces of your teeth. This will thoroughly clean away any lingering particles and remove surface stains from your enamel. Not only will you gain a gleaming and fresh smile, but your risk of oral health issues will also be dramatically reduced. 

Dental Checkups & Cleanings FAQs

A dentist in Portland about to perform a dental checkup

So, perhaps you’re interested in getting a dental checkup or cleaning. You may even think it’s just the treatment you need! However, you likely still have concerns about the procedure. That’s only natural — you want to ensure the checkup really is right for you, after all. Given this fact, then, we at Advanced Dental Arts NW are here to help: Listed below are answers to some frequently asked questions about checkups and cleanings. By looking them over, you’ll know what to expect from your dentist in Portland. If you need other information, please call our office or book a visit — we’d be happy to give you the details!

Does a Dental Checkup and Cleaning Hurt?

No, a checkup with Dr. Teasdale shouldn’t be painful for you. While it uses products stronger than store-bought ones, such items usually cause mild, short-term sensitivity at most.

On the other hand, there are exceptions. If a patient suffers from oral disease symptoms, they might face discomfort during the cleaning. Plus, gums can be sensitive to touch when excess plaque builds up on them. For these reasons, dentists suggest you practice good oral hygiene between visits to reduce the odds of pain.

How Long Does a Dental Checkup Take?

In general, a dental checkup or cleaning takes about an hour. However, it can sometimes last longer, depending on whether a patient needs an oral exam, fluoride treatment, or X-rays. Even in those cases, though, your visit shouldn’t extend past the 90-minute mark.

If you get frequent dental cleanings, your appointment may only take 45 minutes. Please talk with our team to learn whether this applies to you.

How Often Are Checkups and Cleanings Needed?

Any dentist in Portland, including Dr. Teasdale, would recommend getting a checkup and cleaning at least twice yearly. Experts consider six months the longest you can wait without risking your oral health. Still, in some scenarios, you may be advised to undergo more cleanings — perhaps every 3 or 4 months. In particular, those prone to dental issues will want more frequent checkups as a preventive measure.

What Happens If You Skip Checkups?

Without regular dental checkups or cleanings, your teeth will almost certainly suffer from high plaque buildup. As such, you’ll be at higher risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Skipping visits could also lead to missing a cavity, which would likely become an infection if left unchecked. From there, you’d be forced to get emergency treatments like root canal therapy or tooth extraction.

Of course, you can (and should) prevent these outcomes with regular dental care. That way, your dentist can diagnose and treat issues before they become more serious problems.