Q & A With A Dental Hygienist

Cosmetic_DentistryWhile patients frequently ask Dr. Carol Ford, the head of a busy cosmetic dentistry practice in central Phoenix, questions about oral health care, another skilled team member who fields a lot of inquiries is Ashley Barta, one of Dr. Ford’s dental hygienists.

We recently had Ashley share with us her answers to some of the more common cosmetic dentistry questions she hears as she works with patients.

Cosmetic dentistry: Your questions answered

Question#1: Is it really that important for me to come in more than twice a year for a dental cleaning?

There is no “one size fits all” for hygiene frequency.  Recare frequency is recommended by your cosmetic dentistry professional based on your personal needs to achieve optimum oral health.

If you have a history of periodontal disease,  it is important to see your hygienist every three months to keep your gums and bones healthy. It is very rare that a patient with periodontal issues is able to keep their gums healthy on their own with only two cleanings a year. With a more frequent cleaning schedule, we are able to remove and disrupt tartar and bacteria more often, which keeps the gums healthy.

Question #2: What exactly is a deep cleaning and how is it different from a “regular” cleaning?

During a deep cleaning, your hygienist will use specialized tools to remove the hardened deposits of plaque (tartar) and bacteria from the teeth both above and below the gum line. “Regular” cleanings only remove deposits above the gum line. Patients experience little or no discomfort during and after a deep cleaning.

Question #3: What benefit do I receive from fluoride treatments?

Fluoride provides many benefits. The fluoride treatment will re-mineralize the enamel where there is a breakdown and make the tooth stronger so the occurrence of decay is lower.  Patients will also notice a significant decrease in sensitivity.

A fluoride varnish is a great option for cosmetic dentistry patients because it contains a larger dose of fluoride than over-the-counter toothpastes or rinses and can be applied by your hygienist in a minute or two at the end of your hygiene appointment.  There are also prescription fluoride toothpastes you can purchase in our offices to use at home, as well.

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