As a general dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen focuses on more than just cleaning and restoring teeth. Our team’s goal is to preserve and protect your smile so that you can enjoy it today and in your golden years. Comprehensive dental checkups and durable restorations, will give your oral health solid foundation and longevity.
Dr. Van Wicklen encourages his patients to attend comprehensive dental checkups twice a year. At checkups, we may take X-rays and photos to update your records. If you have changed medications or experienced any dental problems since your previous visit, please let us know.
The dentist will inspect each tooth in your mouth, check for signs of gum disease, and evaluate your bite. If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, your checkup provides an ideal opportunity for Dr. Van Wicklen to provide answers. If Dr. Van Wicklen sees any cause for concern, like tooth decay or gum disease, he will discuss a treatment plan to address the issues.
Some of the tools we use in checkups include:
- Laser cavity detection
- Intraoral camera evaluation for education and diagnosis
- Sealants to protect teeth from decay (usually for children)
- Fluoride supplements to strengthen teeth against decay
To help you understand your oral health and treatment options, Dr. Van Wicklen may show you x-rays and digital images as he explains his findings. He wants you to understand your situation and treatment options so that you can make informed decisions for care. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them. A solid understanding of your dental health will make you feel more comfortable when deciding on treatment.
Periodontal Cleaning/Hygiene Visit
If you attend six-month checkups and cleanings, and you don’t have gum disease, we can schedule your regular dental cleaning for just after your checkup. During a regular dental cleaning, our hygienist will inspect your gums and measure the depth of space between your teeth and gums. A space of over .3mm indicates the presence of gum disease, which may require a deep cleaning rather than a regular cleaning.
You probably know, during a regular cleaning, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar (hard, calcified plaque, also called calculus) from your teeth. Plaque, a sticky, smelly substance, is the byproduct of bacteria that live in your mouth. Plaque is a complex matrix of bacteria, minerals, and saliva. Brushing and flossing daily removes a good amount of plaque, but once plaque turns to tartar, it is insoluble and best removed by a dental hygienist. If you do not attend cleanings every six months, tartar can build up. Often, the buildup causes gum disease, a chronic condition that affects up to 80% of Americans.
Also at your cleaning, the hygienist can demonstrate effective, easy ways to brush and floss your teeth. She will be happy to answer your questions about dental care products and homecare, as well.