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Dental Checkups and Cleanings – Springfield, IL

Routine Visits Help Protect Your Mouth for Life!

A woman smiling and giving a thumbs-up at her dental appointment

Many people let routine dental checkups and cleanings go by the wayside because they don’t have an immediate problem with their oral health. But checkups and cleanings are not really intended to address significant issues like teeth damaged by extensive decay or forced trauma. They’re meant to maintain your mouth’s optimal health and reduce these incidents in the future. Plus, the best way to save money on dental services is by maintaining routine visits, not waiting for the worst-case scenario.

If you’re overdue for an appointment, Dr. VanderMolen, his team of dentists and experienced staff will be more than happy to accommodate you. Contact our office today to schedule your next visit!

How Checkups and Cleanings Protect Oral Health

A woman at her dental appointment

Everybody knows that dentists are looking out for cavities and gum disease, but what else is the dentist taking the time to catch during your oral checkup? One of the most pertinent diseases is oral cancer, a condition that can affect people even if they have no risk factors. This disease has the potential to be life-threatening if not caught in its early stages. The sooner the dentist catches it, the easier it will be to treat and remove. The signs of oral cancer are generally difficult to catch at home, which is why routine visits are essential not just to oral health, but systemic health as well.

On the subject of dental cleanings, you’re truly getting a treatment that is nothing like your at-home care. The dentist’s unique tools and accessibility allows him to reach parts of the mouth often missed during at-home care. These areas typically develop tartar, a calcified form of plaque that only dentists can remove. You’ll also get the chance to learn techniques to improve your at-home care, further reducing your risk of dental disease.

What to Expect During Your Exam

A dentist working on a computer

During your initial exam, Dr. VanderMolen, Dr. Driskill or Dr. Schlee will evaluate all the surfaces of your teeth, gums, pocket depth and other oral structures. The exam may also include X-rays, depending on the length of time that’s passed since your previous exam.

They’ll also make sure to check your bite and jaw is even and not disproportionally applying force. If you have an increased risk for tooth decay or bone disease, they can confirm this during the exam. They’ll also perform an oral cancer screening, which only takes a few minutes to complete.

A Typical Dental Cleaning

A closeup of a person’s mouth during a dental exam

During your cleaning, one of our highly-trained dental hygienists will remove stains and deposits from all the surfaces of your teeth, including the hard-to-reach edges. If you don’t floss daily, these areas will likely be covered with plaque. The hygienist will also perform a thorough flossing to remove plaque underneath the gum line, an area that’s unreachable through at-home care.

After the cleaning, you’ll be able to ask questions, learn about essential oral care techniques, and determine if your teeth need additional fluoride treatments. These work to protect your teeth in between visits and strengthen them for everyday use.

Has it been a long time since your last dental checkup in Springfield? Contact our office today to give your mouth the optimal oral health and care it deserves!