Is it Really “Just a Cleaning?”
I must say that we cringe when a patient states that he/she is “just getting my teeth cleaned.” We take pride in our hygiene visits and the service and care we provide as part of that visit. During your hygiene re-care visit we accomplish many things. We review each patient’s chart the day before a the scheduled appointment. Then, on the morning of the appointment, we review the information that we have collected and decide what each patient will require. Is the patient experiencing any specific problems? Are x-rays needed? Are there old fillings that we are monitoring? Has the patient’s medical history been updated, and are there any medical changes that could affect their care?
During the re-care visit, we not only check each patient’s teeth, but also their gums and overall oral health. A decision is made as to whether a patient requires closer monitoring – should they be seen more frequently than every 6 months? Due to various issues and/or conditions, many patients are seen on a more frequent re-care schedule; perhaps every 3 or 4 months. Oral home care is reviewed and reinforced. After all, preventative measures go a long way in preventing decay as well as gingival problems and periodontal disease.
Another important component of the re-care visit is an oral cancer screening. Studies show that when diagnosed early, oral cancer is very treatable. We examine all tissues for any irregular growths or abnormalities and, if necessary, will refer the patient for a consultation with an oral surgeon.
So rest assured that your hygiene re-care visit IS very important to us, and we will be very thorough!