Dental care in Powell, TN, and at home is essential for maintaining good oral health. Not only do they keep your smile healthy and bright, but they protect your overall health as well. To help you get started on a comprehensive oral care routine, we’ve created this in-depth guide looking at the importance of dental cleanings, our new patient exam, and daily at-home cleaning.
In-office cleanings go beyond what you can do at home, allowing us to get areas you may have missed. We offer the My Family Dentistry Advantage Program to help ensure that you receive essential preventative care. This allows us to provide in-depth care for your oral health regardless of your insurance coverage status.
Our new patient exam gives us the opportunity to learn what concerns and goals you have for your smile. We also check for cavities, gum disease, and occlusal disease to develop a baseline for your oral health. These exams are a core part of our dentistry and truly set us apart from other dental offices in Knoxville, TN.
While in-office cleanings are important, you can’t ignore the importance of at-home care. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day after eating does wonders for your oral health. When combined with regular office cleanings, you are protecting yourself from bad breath, dry mouth, cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis.
Why Dental Cleanings Matter
Regular dental cleanings are as important for your oral health as daily brushing and flossing. They provide our hygienists the opportunity to check the health of your teeth and gums as well as ensure that they stay healthy.
There is really no substitute for the level of care and cleaning you receive when you’re sitting in our hygienist’s chair. With our professional cleanings, you receive in-depth care that is guaranteed to keep your teeth and gums strong, healthy, and vibrant well into the future.
When you come in for a cleaning, you’re giving our team the chance to protect you from:
- Periodontal disease
Professional dental cleanings are the only guaranteed way to protect your teeth from the effects of plaque and tartar. Without professional cleanings at our dental office in Powell, TN, you run the risk of developing cavities and even periodontal disease (gum disease). At My Family Dentistry, you can experience worry-free dentistry in our spa-like dental office.
The My Family Dentistry Advantage Program
Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of, but not everyone has adequate insurance to achieve it. This can leave you without access to even the most basic forms of in-office dental care. That’s why we have introduced the My Family Dentistry Advantage Program. It’s an in-house subscription program that gives you access to 100% of your preventative care.
Subscriptions range from $32 – $75 per month, and each plan includes:
- 2 professional cleanings per year
- 1 periodic exam per year
- 2 fluoride treatments per year
- 4 bitewing X-rays once per year
- 1 set of FMX/panoramic X-rays every 5 years
- 1 emergency exam per year (if needed)
- 15% off all other treatments (some exclusions may apply)
- $99 Lifetime Activation Fee includes the first month
With the My Family Dentistry Advantage program, you gain access to all of your necessary preventive care and then some. You don’t have to worry about dental emergencies, plus you get discounts on select treatments.
Dental Cleanings in Powell, TN — What to Expect
We take pride in going the extra mile at My Family Dentistry. That’s why we do things a bit differently in our Powell, TN, dental office. We still perform the same polishing and fluoride treatments you can experience in other offices. However, our staff provides you with a thorough cleaning you won’t get anywhere else.
According to Julie, one of our dental hygienists:
We’re not just running in here, looking at a couple of teeth, polishing them, and then sending you out the door. Anyone can do that, but that is not getting your teeth cleaned. Polishing your teeth is not getting your teeth cleaned. It just removes some of the lightly attached debris or light stains on the teeth. It may make them feel good and slick, but it’s unfortunate that a lot of people think that’s what a dental cleaning is.
We don’t believe in cutting corners at My Family Dentistry. That’s why we spend about an hour with every patient that comes in for a cleaning appointment. Each appointment includes an in-depth tooth scaling to remove tartar and help prevent gum disease. We will perform a periodontal exam based on your gum health as well as take X-rays to assess your bone health.
Your oral health isn’t separate from your overall health. They’re both closely related, which is why we perform such rigorous dental cleanings. To protect your oral and overall health, we perform a medical evaluation to gain a better understanding of your dental care needs. This includes a list of your medications so we can create an oral care plan personalized to your specific needs.
What Patients Say About Our Dental Cleanings
Most people have never experienced a dental cleaning as thorough as ours. This often leaves them pleasantly surprised once it’s over, telling our hygienists what a great experience they have had.
This is quite normal for our team. According to Julie:
They have a very generalized misunderstanding when they call in for a cleaning. They don’t really know what they’re calling in for. They just want to get a cleaning. They don’t understand all of the parameters that go into deciding how we’re going to best get that patient back to a healthy state.
New patients often ask us, “Is that new? I’ve never had a cleaning like that before.” In truth, we’re only providing the best care for our patients. This means treating everyone who walks through our doors on a custom individual basis. Knowing that you have just received the best cleaning that you’ve ever had will leave you feeling confident in your oral health.
Dental cleanings do more than keep your smile vibrant — they also help protect your overall health as well. This makes perfect sense when you consider that your mouth is a key access point to your digestive and respiratory systems.
Your oral health can affect your risk of other diseases, including:
- Oral cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Pregnancy complications
That’s why it’s so important to maintain good oral health. By combining at-home care with dental cleanings, you are protecting your overall health as well as the health of your teeth and gums.
Click here to learn more about dental cleanings at My Family Dentistry in Powell, TN!
New Patient Exams at Our Dental Office in Powell, TN
New patients that come to our office for a hygiene exam have already saved themselves a lot of time. Each new patient begins with a screening process through our front office to determine that they:
- Have received regular dental care in the past
- Have good overall oral health
- Don’t have any preexisting oral health problems
We use this screening to learn if new patients have prioritized their oral health over the years. In certain cases, it can cancel out the need for a cleaning during your first visit to our office. This gives us the opportunity to spend that time discussing what goals you have for your smile and oral health.
As Taylor, one of our dental hygienists explains, “So when you’re in the hygiene chair, we do not promise a cleaning. This is just because it depends on your health and your history, and there’s a lot we need to talk about.”
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a diagnostic aspect to your new patient exam. To understand this process, Taylor explains that:
There is a multi-step process to our exam and we’re very thorough in the diagnostics portion of it. We’re also very thorough in our cleaning as well, so we don’t want to cause a time issue or have to rush through to get all of it done. Typically we check for the three diseases — cavities, gum disease, and occlusal disease [bite and airway problems]. We also perform thorough questioning, exams, and muscle checks. We may also ask further questions depending on your answers, especially into your dental history. Then, of course, we take X-rays.
The Three Diseases We Check for During a New Patient Exam
We check for three diseases during your new patient exam:
- Occlusal disease
- Periodontal disease
As the most common health condition in the world, it’s important to be on the lookout for even the smallest signs of cavities. Despite being easily treated, this common issue can do extensive damage to your teeth. New patient exams and regular cleanings give us an opportunity to catch them early on or possibly even prevent them before they have a chance to develop.
Problems with your bite are known as occlusal disease. This affects how your lower and upper teeth align and connect. It can develop for a number of reasons, including:
- Unbalanced bite
- Clenching your jaw
- Grinding your teeth
- Incorrect teeth alignment
All of your oral and facial muscles work together when functioning correctly. An imbalance caused by occlusal disease can cause stress that requires professional treatment for correction.
More commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease affects almost half of American adults in some form. It causes your gums and bone to deteriorate over time, culminating in tooth loss. The risk of developing periodontal disease only grows as you get older, making it extremely important to seek immediate treatment or possibly prevent it in the first place.
We take a great feeling of pride in how people respond to our new patient exam. Like clockwork, new patients are astonished by how in-depth the entire process is. Jordan is one of our dental hygienists and has worked in other dental offices in the past. This gives her first-hand experience with why this happens time and time again.
As Jordan explains:
With other offices that I’ve worked at, they focus on what the patient considers symptomatic or what fires the patient thinks need to be put out. It’s not, ‘How can we help you become overall healthy?’ Instead, it’s “You’ve got some cavities so let’s address those and let’s get your cleaning.” It’s not, “Well tell me about your history. Tell me about your life. Tell me about your hopes and fears and goals.”
Jordan and the rest of our team understand that there’s more to your oral health than a bright smile — it’s also part of your overall health. To make sure both are in the best shape possible, we take a patient-centered approach to dental care. We believe that it is the foundation of helping you get the best oral health and the best smile possible.
“We are completely different from any other office for new patient exams in a lot of different ways,” Jordan explains. “First of all, we try really hard to build a relationship with each patient. We allow ourselves to take our time and get to know them. We also perform really thorough exams with data collection.”
Our work shines brightest when we combine in-depth exams and long-lasting relationships with our patients. It allows us to serve our patients more holistically than other offices, going beyond the surface issues and giving you the smile of your dreams.
To learn more about new patient dental exams in Powell, TN, click here!
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Daily Dental Care
New patient exams and regular cleanings are an important part of your oral care routine. However, you should never neglect your daily at-home dental care. Daily brushing and flossing are the cornerstones of good oral health. When combined with regular professional cleanings, you have a surefire routine to beat these oral health problems.
Daily dental care can help reduce your risk of:
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth
Click here to learn more about the importance of daily dental care!
Bad breath isn’t the end of the world. On the other hand, it can be embarrassing if you’re not careful and cause you to feel more self-conscious. Fortunately, bad breath is easy to prevent. Also known as halitosis, you can prevent bad breath by brushing your teeth for two minutes twice per day. Follow that up with flossing at least once a day after eating for the best results.
If at-home oral care doesn’t get rid of your bad breath then there may be a bigger problem at play. It could be caused by a number of reasons including dry mouth, an infection, certain medications, or certain diseases. Schedule an appointment with our office so we can determine the problem and create a comprehensive treatment plan that is customized to your needs.
Dry mouth can contribute to bad breath, but it can also cause more serious problems than that. For instance, dry mouth can also lead to more cavities. This is because saliva acts as a natural mouth rinse, helping to remove substances that can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, or both.
Some cases of dry mouth can be fixed with drinking more water and daily oral care. On the other hand, it may help to adopt other strategies to fight the condition. This may include:
- Breathing through your nose
- Using sugar-free candy or gum, especially those sweetened with Xylitol
- Putting a humidifier in your home
- Consuming fewer dry and high-sodium foods
- Reducing the amount of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages you drink
Dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities, but the biggest culprit is bacterial plaque buildup. It’s caused by bacteria which develops into a sticky, clear film on your teeth. The development of plaque is a natural process stemming from the starchy food and drinks that we consume.
Bacteria in your mouth feed off of the starches which turn into an acidic plaque and can lead to tooth decay. As Jordan explains, “Plaque will lay on the tooth and start to demineralize it if you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis.” So keep up your daily brushing and flossing routine, and don’t forget to come in for regular cleanings to help prevent cavities.
The early stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. This form of bacterial infection affects the gum tissue, usually due to poor oral care. This is the same type of bacteria that leads to plaque and gingivitis. What makes gingivitis different is that the plaque has hardened into calculus below the gum line, making it much more difficult to remove without a dentist.
At My Family Dentistry, we understand that poor oral care can stem from poor habits picked up early in life. As Julie puts it, “People tend to neglect their dental care based on what they have learned as a child. This forms the basis for how important their teeth are and how important oral hygiene practices can be. It’s more of a learned behavior than simply not doing it.”
We know that it’s never too late to fix bad oral health habits. Maintaining a daily routine of brushing and flossing is essential for avoiding these common dental health problems. For the best results, schedule your next cleaning with our dental office in Powell, TN. Our team will provide you with the best cleaning that you have ever experienced and identify your problem areas.
If gingivitis is left untreated then it will eventually develop into periodontitis. This more severe form of gum disease causes the gums to pull away from your teeth. “Pockets” also begin to develop between your teeth where bacteria, plaque, and tartar gather. These pockets only get deeper as time goes on, causing loose or even missing teeth.
Daily oral care with regular dental cleanings and checkups can help prevent periodontitis from ever developing. If you do develop the condition, you will need to undergo scaling to remove tartar above and below the gumline. Root planing will also be used to prevent further buildup by smoothing the roots’ surfaces. Antibiotics may also be necessary to control the infection.
Are you ready to get your daily dental care on track? Contact our dental office in Powell, TN, to schedule your appointment!
Coming to our office for a cleaning gives us the chance to clean areas you may have missed with at-home cleaning. With the My Family Dentistry Advantage Program, we help make sure that you get the preventative care you and your family need. It’s a subscription service that gives you access to our thorough cleanings regardless of whether you have insurance or not.
Our new patient exams are a unique experience where we learn the goals and concerns you have for your smile. We also check for cavities, gum disease, and occlusal disease during the diagnostic portion of the exam. Our new patient exam is an important part of our dental practice, setting us apart from other dental offices and helping us build lasting relationships with our patients.
The importance of at-home oral care can’t be overstated. In-office dental cleanings are important, but daily brushing and flossing work wonders for your oral health. When you combine at-home cleaning with our in-office care, you have the perfect combination to treat and even prevent bad breath, dry mouth, cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis.