Forest Hills Dental Cleanings and Checkups

Routine dental cleanings are one of the most important aspects of prevention based dentistry. With regular preventative care, you and your Forest Hills family can reduce your chances of getting cavities, gum disease, TMJ disorder, and other common oral health problems.

At Forest Hills Dental, we make it practical and convenient for everyone in your household to get quality dental care in one central location. Whether you’re a busy professional, have a toddler, or are newly retired, Dr. Gregory Mark is committed to helping you enjoy a healthy smile for the rest of your life.

dental cleaning

How Often Should I See a Dentist?

For most individuals, a dental cleaning at our Forest Hills dentist office is recommended every six months. If you’ve had a past issue with gum problems or periodontal disease, Dr. Mark may need to see you as frequently as every 3-4 months. The same can be said for if you’re currently in braces and having a hard time keeping them clean.

But otherwise, you can expect to set an appointment twice per year. If you have dental insurance, your carrier will typically pay for all or most of these bi-annual dental checkups, as they’re preventative in nature.

What Happens During Your Checkup

During your checkup, Dr. Mark will thoroughly examine each of your teeth and existing dental restorations. We want to be sure to check for any issues like leaky fillings, rough margins, worn or eroded enamel, bone loss, tissue recession, and TMJ disorder.

As part of your exam, we’ll complete periodic periodontal screenings. At this phase of your appointment, we’ll physically measure the attachment levels of your gums and bone at each tooth. Since periodontal disease is directly related to serious health issues, we want to catch it as early as possible.

During your visit, we ask that you bring an updated list of any medications or supplements that you’re taking, as well as a list of recent surgeries, hospitalizations, and contact information for your medical team. If needed, Dr. Mark will collaborate with your other health professionals for treatment planning purposes.

And of course, we’ll clean your teeth! Or hygienist will use special instruments to remove plaque biofilm, tartar buildup, and polish off superficial stains that have accumulated since your last checkup.

Will I Need X-rays?

From time to time, our Forest Hills family dentist will need to take certain types of X-rays to view areas not visible during your exam. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art digital imaging, for improved efficiency and safety for our patients. In fact, today’s dental X-rays use as much as 90% less radiation than conventional ones used to.

When we capture the images of your teeth, they’re immediately visible on an in-room monitor, allowing for faster diagnoses and enhanced communication with our patients. You’ll be able to see the same thing that Dr. Mark does. When you do, you’ll have the visual information you need to self-diagnose and co-plan your care alongside of our highly experienced dental team.

Depending on your needs, age, and background, some of the most common types of X-rays we take are bitewings, panoramic, and periodicals. Each type is used for different purposes, with various views of the tooth’s anatomy. If you remember having an X-ray taken recently and wonder why another is necessary, it’s usually because there’s something else that needs to be evaluated that won’t be clear on the other film.

If it’s Been a While Since Your Last Visit

It’s not uncommon for people to fall behind on their checkups from time to time. In such instances, issues like gum disease tend to pop up. Heavy tartar buildup may also be evident. Tartar tends to collect the most at the gumlines as well as under the gums (against the root surfaces of teeth.)

If you’ve found yourself in such a situation and your gum disease screening shows signs of bone and gum loss, Dr. Mark will likely recommend that you come back for a deep cleaning instead of a routine preventative visit. From there, we’ll help get your smile back on track for a regular checkup schedule.

Oral Cancer Screenings

Even if you don’t smoke or drink alcohol, there are environmental risks that can increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Sun exposure and certain viruses are just a couple of examples.

At each checkup, Dr. Mark will screen for signs of precancerous lesions and suspected oral cancer. Since this disease is quite aggressive and deadly, early diagnosis is essential. The sooner oral cancer is detected, the better the chances for a positive treatment outcome.

Some of the most common signs of oral cancer include symptoms of:

• Sores that do not heal
• White, red, or patchy areas of skin
• Lumps, bumps, or nodules
• Sunken-in areas
• Difficulty swallowing
• An area of the mouth looking different from the same location on the opposite side of your mouth

Dental Checkups for the Entire Family

Patients of Forest Hills Dental can easily arrange their family’s appointments to book checkups and cleanings around their busy schedule. When you bring your entire family to the same dentist, we can better understand the needs of your household, past concerns, and unique situation. For instance, if a particular trait tends to run in your family, Dr. Mark will already know about them and keep them in mind while recommending specific types of care.

It’s not uncommon for families to bring their children to our office and when they’re grown, those same individuals return with families of their own. We’re proudly been serving Forest Hills since 1995 and in that time, we’ve seen overlapping three and four generations of the same families!

Due for a Dental Cleaning?

Keeping your smile clean is one of the best ways to maintain your natural teeth for life. We’ll show you special ways to adapt your hygiene routine to combat tooth decay, gingivitis, and more.

Call Forest Hills Dental today to schedule you or your child’s next checkup with us. We also offer in-house pediatric dental care.