General Dentistry

Most patients initially start seeing a dentist in order to receive general dentistry care, such as routine exams and checkups and other preventive services, like fluoride treatments or sealants. This type of routine care can help to keep your smile in optimal condition. It benefits your general health, as well.

Of course, a robust home oral hygiene routine is also important. It works in combination with recommended professional care to maintain your oral health.

Although much of its focus is on prevention, general dentistry also includes treatments for oral diseases, such as cavities or gum disease, which can develop even when patients pursue adequate preventive care. These interventions can restore your oral health and protect your smile, as well.

To learn more about our general dentistry services or to schedule your next checkup, call Imagine Family Dentistry and speak to one of our knowledgeable, friendly team members.

Routine Dental Care: The Foundation Of A Healthy Smile

The type of routine dental care included in your semi-annual checkup includes two components.

Teeth Cleaning | Imagine Family Dentistry | St. George UT
Dental Cleanings

A professional hygienist uses specialized instruments to remove any plaque and calculus that has accumulated on your teeth. Patients may still develop calculus buildup even if they brush and floss as directed.

Dental Exams

The dentist will inspect your teeth and gums, along with other soft oral tissues, looking for evidence of issues like cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer.

Both of these services are instrumental to your oral health. A thorough dental cleaning helps to keep your teeth as clean as possible, even in those areas that are difficult for you to reach on your own.

Dental exams give your dentist an opportunity to identify any problems in their earliest stages when they can be treated more conservatively.

Maximizing Your Home Oral Hygiene Routine

Between those semi-annual dental appointments, you need to be taking steps at home to minimize the presence of oral bacteria and reduce your risk of oral diseases. An ideal home oral hygiene routine consists of the following:

  • Brushing – twice each day, two minutes each session
  • Flossing – daily, ideally immediately prior to brushing

Some patients may also benefit from adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to their routine. Ask your dentist if that would be helpful for you.

Keep in mind that the tools and techniques that you use in your home oral hygiene routine are important. If you’re not holding your brush at an angle along your gumline, for example, you’re probably not removing the maximum amount of plaque possible.

You should also be using a soft bristled brush that is no more than 3-4 months old. A harsh brush can actually damage your teeth, while an old one is likely to be ineffective.

Additional Preventive Care And Treatments For Oral Diseases

Depending on your needs, your dentist may recommend additional treatments to either prevent or address oral diseases, including the following:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Sealants
  • Cavity Fillings
  • Periodontal treatments (surgical and non-surgical)
  • Tooth extractions, including wisdom tooth extractions

We are able to provide all of these treatments in our office, and patients can choose nitrous oxide for additional comfort.

Common General Dentistry Questions

Why should I go to the dentist regularly?

Going to the dentist regularly has a variety of benefits. First of all, if your dentist is examining your teeth every six months, it’s far more likely that any problems, such as cavities or periodontal disease, will be diagnosed and treated early. Not only does this mean that you will be able to take advantage of more conservative treatment options, but it also can be a life-saving exam, as the prognosis for oral cancer is quite poor when diagnosed in its later stages.

How often should I brush and floss?

Patients should brush twice each day – in the morning and again at bedtime – and floss daily. You’ll get the best results if you floss immediately prior to brushing. This frequency of oral hygiene practices is important for minimizing disease-causing oral bacteria. Take care not to brush too softly or too hard, and consider using an electric brush with a built-in timer to make sure that you’re hitting that two-minute mark.

What if I have a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, and you can call our office and arrange to be seen if you experience an urgent issue, such as a broken tooth or a severe toothache. If the situation happens after hours, you can reach our on-call staff member via our answering service. We can give you guidance on how to manage the issue until we are able to evaluate you at our office.

How often should I have a cleaning?

Patients should have their teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist at least every six months. This is beneficial even for people who are diligent about their home oral hygiene practices. The hygienist can thoroughly clean parts of your smile that you can’t reach very well, along with using professional grade instruments to remove bacteria-laden tartar. Your unique body chemistry affects the amount of plaque and tartar that you produce, so some patients who develop plaque and tartar buildup more quickly may benefit from more frequent cleanings, around every 3-4 months.