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Dental Exam & Cleanings

IN JACKSONVILLE, FL

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Dental Cleanings in Jacksonville, FL

A variety of treatments are covered by the umbrella of general dentistry, all aimed at helping patients achieve a lifetime of excellent oral health. From regular checkups to substantial restoration treatment plans, our experienced team can help you. We are pleased to provide quality comprehensive dental solutions to Jacksonville, Florida.

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We’re committed to giving you one more reason to smile!

- DR. HANNAH MULARKEY

DENTAL EXAM

Comprehensive Oral Exam | Even if you take excellent care of your teeth at home, you still need to see a dentist regularly. We check for problems that you may not see or feel. Often, dental problems don't become visible or cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Regular visits help us detect issues in earlier stages, before permanent damage. 

  • On average, seeing a dentist twice a year works well for many people. Some can get away with fewer visits and others may need more frequent visits.

  • Comprehensive dental exams not only check for tooth decay and gum health but also examine your entire mouth. This type of exam is generally given if you are a first-time patient to a new dentist and is suggested at least once a year. 

A Comprehensive Exam will include:

  • Oral Exam

  • X-Rays

  • Cancer Screening

  • Treatment Plan

 

Even if you take excellent care of your gums and teeth, you still need to see a dentist regularly. Call your Jacksonville, FL General Dentist office, Point Meadows Dentistry to schedule your Dental Exam. 

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DENTAL CLEANINGS

Routine Cleaning vs Deep Cleaning

  • Routine Cleaning: Professional teeth cleanings are scheduled twice a year, while X-rays are typically done once a year. However, depending on what our team observes, we may opt to do other exams during your visit. For a routine dental cleaning, our hygienist uses special tools to remove plaque and tartar deposits from the surfaces of your teeth. Daily brushing and flossing prevents plaque from building up and hardening into tartar. Once you have tartar, you can only have it removed by a professional.

  • Scaling and Root Planing: Also known as a “deep clean”. This next-level cleaning is needed when there are larger amounts of bacteria and tartar buildup. 

    • When dental “pockets” form, the bacteria and tarter fill these pockets opening the door to a number of health complications, such as periodontal disease and eventual tooth loss. Scaling and root planing is performed when pockets are greater than 4mm.

    • Removing plaque and tartar from the teeth’s surface and gum pockets are known as scaling, while root planing involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots. 

    • Unlike routine cleanings, it can take more than one appointment for the cleaning to be performed due to the extensiveness of the cleaning needed. 

    • In severe cases, a follow-up visit is needed to monitor the health of the teeth and gums, especially if pockets have formed. For those who have periodontal disease, a deep cleaning can actually help reverse the progression of the disease. Many patients see results within 3 months of having their teeth deep cleaned. 

 

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned? | It is recommended that you have a routine examination and cleaning, twice a year. This recommendation dates back to the 1890s when most people had tooth decay. 

There are a few situations that we may suggest cleanings more than twice a year, here are a few reasons:

  • If you have a history of periodontal disease, you should get your teeth cleaned more often in order to prevent the recurrence of infections or disease. Specifically, with periodontal disease, we will typically set you up on three month recalls. 

  • If you suffer from chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes due to their link to dental problems. 

  • If you smoke, you should consider quitting. Smoking can permanently stain your teeth and create other tooth and gum problems. If you do not intend to quit smoking, you should get your teeth cleaned more frequently. 

  • Those at higher risk for cavities or are in active dental treatment, may require recall intervals as short as three months.

What Type of Cleaning do I Need?

 

After an oral exam, we will determine which type of cleaning will benefit you the most. During the exam, we will check the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums(pockets). Ideally, you want the measurement number to be below 4mm. If the number is above 4mm, we may diagnose a deep cleaning(Scaling and Root Planing) instead of a routine cleaning.

What does Bleeding Gums Mean?

 

You have probably heard your hygienist mention that your gums are bleeding, with a follow-up question about your flossing habits. If you have a lot of bacteria buildup in your mouth, it can irritate your gums to where they are more sensitive and susceptible to bleed easily. This can happen after your teeth cleaning because we have to brush and touch instruments against your teeth and gums. This gum sensitivity may last for a day or two after a cleaning, but this will go away. The moral of the story is.. If your teeth are bleeding it is very likely your floss schedule is out of sync. 

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PERIODONTAL DISEASE

What is Periodontal Disease?

 

Periodontal Disease is an infection of the oral tissue that keeps your teeth in place. It's typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque to build on the teeth and harden. In advanced stages, it can lead to painful chewing problems, sores, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss. 

What causes Periodontal Disease? 

 

There are a number of risk factors for Periodontal disease, but smoking is the most significant. Smoking also can lower the success rate of treatment. Other risk factors include diabetes, medications that lessen the flow of saliva, hormonal changes in girls and women, certain illnesses, and genetic susceptibility.

What are the symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

  • Bad Breath

  • Red and/or Swollen Gums

  • Tender or Bleeding Gums

  • Painful Chewing

  • Loose Teeth

  • Sensitive Teeth

  • Receding Gums

What is a Periodontal Evalutation?

Your oral health is of utmost importance to us, and we want to ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention. That's why we are excited to invite you to schedule a comprehensive periodontal evaluation at Point Meadows Dentistry. Periodontal health is the foundation of a beautiful smile and plays a vital role in your overall well-being. Our team of experienced and compassionate dental professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain optimal gum health.

During your periodontal evaluation, our skilled periodontist will:

  1. Assess the health of your gums and surrounding tissues.

  2. Identify any signs of gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

  3. Measure the depth of your gum pockets to determine the extent of any issues.

  4. Provide personalized recommendations for treatment and prevention.

 

Whether you've been experiencing gum sensitivity, bleeding, or you simply want to proactively safeguard your oral health, a periodontal evaluation is a crucial step in maintaining a healthy smile. Please don't hesitate to reach out to our friendly team to schedule your appointment. We are here to answer any questions you may have and accommodate your scheduling needs.

Your well-being is our top priority, and we are committed to providing you with the best possible care. We look forward to welcoming you to Point Meadows Dentistry and helping you achieve a smile that's not only beautiful but also healthy.

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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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  • How can I keep my teeth and gums happy?
    Brushing your teeth twice a day, and using a fluoride toothpaste at least once. Flossing regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Visiting Point Meadows Dentistry routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning. Quitting smoking.
  • Is Periodontal Disease reversible?
    The disease is still reversible at this stage and can usually be eliminated by thorough brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged beyond repair.
  • What are the stages of gum disease?
    Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease, an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. Periodontitis: This is your final warning to take your treatment seriously. The supporting bone and tissue that keeps your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gumline, which traps food and plaque causing more issues and possibly infections. Advanced Periodontitis: This is the final stage of gum disease, the tissue and bone supporting your teeth are permanently destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen.
  • Can you get Gum Disease without any teeth?
    Yes, gum disease is an ailment of the gums, and is independent of the teeth.
  • Can your gums grow back?
    Gum tissue doesn't regenerate the way other types of tissue does. As a result, receding gums don't grow back.
  • Can teeth whitening be painful?
    When performed by a dental professional, teeth whitening is an effective and safe way to brighten your smile. The most common side effect of whitening is temporary tooth sensitivity. In extreme cases the sensitivity can last up to a few days. It’s important to consult your dentist, to make sure you are a candidate for teeth whitening and to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
  • How long do Veneers last?
    Veneers generally last between 7 and 15 years, depending on material. After this time, the veneers would need to be replaced.
  • Are Veneers covered under insurance?
    The cost of veneers is not typically covered by insurance. To be certain, check with your dental insurance company.
  • Are there alternatives to Veneers?
    Yes, bondings and crowns are alternative options. Veneers may be the best option for individuals who want to change the color and shape of their teeth more than just a little bit, but not enough to require a crown.
  • My teeth are sensitive, what other whitening options do I have?"
    To avoid a hypersensitive reaction, we may recommend take-home bleaching trays with a lower concentration of carbamide peroxide – which is not as potent as hydrogen peroxide.
  • Is teeth whitening permanent?
    In-office bleaching is not a permanent solution. Like your teeth prior to the treatment, they will remain susceptible to stains. We will recommend you follow-up your treatment with a lower-percentage bleach in-home treatment that can be kept on the teeth for longer periods of time.
  • What is the difference between a cap and a dental crown?
    A crown is a prosthetic treatment for a broken or badly decayed tooth. A “cap” is an older term and is now commonly used to refer to dental crowns.
  • How long do conventional dentures last?
    The average life expectancy of a denture is seven to ten years. The denture itself is designed to last considerably longer than this, however the shape of your mouth/jawbone will change requiring new dentures.
  • How long does a dental crown last?
    On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. This depends on the amount of wear and tear the crown takes, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal habits.
  • How do you know if your dental crown needs to be replaced?
    There are a few indicators that your crown needs to replaced, here are a few common reasons: Your dental crown is old. Dental crowns can last for more than fifteen years before seeing any damage. Wear and tear Pain or swelling around the tooth Receding gum line
  • My dental crown fell off, what do I do?"
    Simply, sometimes crowns fall off. Most often the reason is from the decay of the underlying tooth or loosening of the cementing material used to place the crown. If your crown comes off, clean the crown and the front of the tooth. Contact Point Meadows Dentistry immediately, we will give you specific instructions on how to care for the tooth and crown for the day or so until you can be seen for an evaluation. We may be able to re-cement the crown in place; if not, a new crown will need to be made.
  • How long do you have to wait to get dentures after teeth are pulled?
    Typically, six to eight weeks after the extractions. This allows sufficient time for the mouth to heal. We will re-examine your mouth to ensure enough time has passed prior to fitting your dentures.
  • Are dentures typically covered by Dental Insurance?
    Most complete coverage dental insurance policies include some restorative coverage, typically up to 50% of the cost of dentures is covered. Co-pays and regular deductibles still apply.
  • Can your gums grow back?
    Gum tissue doesn't regenerate the way other types of tissue does. As a result, receding gums don't grow back.
  • Why do my dentures keep falling out?
    The most common reason for loose-fitting dentures is a process known as bone resorption, where the gums begin to shrink due to them no longer needing to hold your teeth in place followed by bone loose.
  • What is the difference between a cap and a dental crown?
    A crown is a prosthetic treatment for a broken or badly decayed tooth. A “cap” is an older term and is now commonly used to refer to dental crowns.
  • How long do conventional dentures last?
    The average life expectancy of a denture is seven to ten years. The denture itself is designed to last considerably longer than this, however the shape of your mouth/jawbone will change requiring new dentures.
  • How long does a dental crown last?
    On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. This depends on the amount of wear and tear the crown takes, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal habits.
  • How do you know if your dental crown needs to be replaced?
    Your dental crown is old. Dental crowns can last for more than fifteen years before seeing any damage. Wear and tear Pain or swelling around the tooth Receding gum line
  • My dental crown fell off, what do I do?"
    Simply, sometimes crowns fall off. Most often the reason is from the decay of the underlying tooth or loosening of the cementing material used to place the crown. If your crown comes off, clean the crown and the front of the tooth. Contact Point Meadows Dentistry immediately, we will give you specific instructions on how to care for the tooth and crown for the day or so until you can be seen for an evaluation. We may be able to re-cement the crown in place; if not, a new crown will need to be made.
  • How long do you have to wait to get dentures after teeth are pulled?
    Typically, six to eight weeks after the extractions. This allows sufficient time for the mouth to heal. We will re-examine your mouth to ensure enough time has passed prior to fitting your dentures.
  • Are dentures typically covered by Dental Insurance?
    Most complete coverage dental insurance policies include some restorative coverage, typically up to 50% of the cost of dentures is covered. Co-pays and regular deductibles still apply.
  • Why do my dentures keep falling out?
    The most common reason for loose-fitting dentures is a process known as bone resorption, where the gums begin to shrink due to them no longer needing to hold your teeth in place followed by bone loose.
FAQ
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