When approaching your oral health, it’s good to remember that it’s significantly easier to prevent dental problems than it is to treat them. And in treating them, it’s also much better for you and your oral health to do so when they are small and manageable.
The goal of preventive dentistry is to provide the services and treatments you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums, including routine exams and teeth cleanings at our Mountlake Terrace dental office. Dr. Kathryn Jagow and our dental team also provide the support and education you need to make healthier decisions for your oral health, whether it’s which toothbrush to use or dietary changes you should consider making.
Dental Exams and Cleanings
The foundation of your oral health care is routine dental exams and cleanings. We recommend these appointments twice a year if you have healthy teeth and gums and no history of ongoing dental problems. Patients with a history of cavities or gum disease may require several additional appointments to maintain excellent oral health throughout the year.
During your semi-annual preventive dental appointment, you can expect Dr. Jagow to:
- Note and record the condition of your teeth
- Take routine dental x-rays as needed
- Look for evidence of gum disease or gingivitis
- Check the condition of existing dental work
- Perform an oral cancer screening
Some patients may also benefit from dental sealants placed on healthy teeth to help seal out food debris and bacteria buildup that leads to cavities. Applying dental sealants is a simple, non-invasive procedure that Dr. Jagow performs without the need for any anesthetic.
Comprehensive Dental Cleanings
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once helps remove food debris and cavity-causing plaque buildup. Your dental hygienist completes the job by cleaning all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly, including hardened plaque called tartar that can only be removed using specialized instruments. We will base the frequency and type of dental cleanings we provide on your unique oral health needs.
During your cleaning, your hygienist also looks for signs of gum disease or gingivitis, which can be very destructive if we don’t treat it promptly. In the early stage called gingivitis, gum disease is easy to treat with a thorough cleaning and a commitment on your part to improved oral hygiene.
Untreated gingivitis develops into periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that threatens the stability of your teeth and can lead to tooth loss without treatment. We do offer advanced periodontal treatment, but it is best for your oral health if it never reaches this stage.
How We Use Technology to Inform You
For your comfort and safety, we use digital x-rays that enable us to see areas they can’t see during a visual exam, such as inside your teeth and under the gums. Digital x-rays images are so clear and highly-detailed that Dr. Jagow can detect even the smallest cavities and treat them before they cause discomfort or damage your smile.
Helping you understand your own oral health needs is essential, so we will share the x-ray images with you on your chairside monitor so you can see what our Mountlake Terrace general dentist sees during the examination.
Intraoral cameras are another technology we offer that lets you see conditions like cavities in detail and better understand the need for treatment.
Stay a Step Ahead of Dental Problems
If you live in Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Edmonds, or surrounding communities and need a dental exam and cleaning, call us to schedule a convenient appointment. And don’t worry if it’s been a while since your last visit—we are here to provide supportive, non-judgmental treatment, whatever the current state of your oral health is!