Preventive & Periodontal Care in Hershey PA

Taking care of your teeth and gums throughout your life is the easiest way to keep your smile healthy and your dental bills low. When you emphasize preventive dental care and do the little things each day to keep your teeth disease-free, you give yourself the best chance of keeping those teeth forever! 

At the dental office of Dr. Wesley R. Davis, we’re here to provide you with the tools you need for excellent oral health—but it also requires an effort on your part to achieve that goal. Following proper oral hygiene at home is the first step, but you must couple these habits with dental exams and professional cleanings to achieve the best results. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last trip to the dentist, don’t worry—we can help you get back on track. Give us a call today at (717) 533-4202 to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam in Hershey, PA. 

The Dental Exam

Your dental exam will typically occur at the end of each dental visit after your hygienist has cleaned your teeth and preliminarily checked for any problems with your teeth. When you’re new to our dental office or when you have a more complicated dental history, however, you may have a longer dental exam, or your exam might take place at the beginning of your appointment. 

Our professional dental exams focus on your mouth as a whole so that we’re always aware of any problems that might develop with your teeth, gums, or soft tissues. At your preventive dental visits, we check for conditions such as oral cancer, problems with your bite (“malocclusion”), and periodontal disease.

If you’re a new patient at our dental practice, our Hershey dentist, Dr. Davis, and the rest of our clinical team will start by talking with you about your past oral health history and your expectations for your future dental care. As we get to know you better as our patient, we’ll learn more about your dental priorities and how we can help you reach your smile goals in a way that makes sense for you. 

If it’s your first visit with us or if it’s been a while since your last dental appointment, we’ll check the status of your overall dental health, including the condition and status of any existing dental work. When necessary, which is typically about once per year, we’ll take updated digital dental x-rays so we can keep an eye on the inside of your teeth. This helps us catch problems early and recommend treatment before conditions like cavities become painful and expensive. 

As we look at each piece of your smile, we’ll use the information we gather to help us develop a comprehensive treatment plan to keep your smile healthy for the long-term. Whether you just need basic preventive maintenance or something more involved, such as restorative dentistry or a smile makeover, we’ll be there for you. 

The Importance of Professional Dental Cleanings in Hershey

Removing Stubborn Dental Bacteria 

Taking care of your teeth by having excellent at-home oral hygiene is always a smart thing to do, but it’s not enough to totally protect your smile. Even if you floss daily and brush your teeth several times per day as recommended, you still need the extra help of professional dental cleanings if you want to completely remove tartar and plaque from your teeth and keep cavities at bay. 

Along with the American Dental Association (ADA), we recommend that you and your family visit your Hershey dentist at least twice a year for a professional teeth cleaning. These semi-annual dental appointments allow us to remove bacteria from teeth that you’re unable to get on your own—even if you have the very best oral health habits! 

Our special dental instruments allow us to access hard-to-reach places and areas of your mouth that are more prone to tartar buildup. When you come in to see us here at the dental office of Dr. Wesley R. Davis, we thoroughly clean every surface of each tooth, leaving you with a fresh, clean slate. 

During your professional dental cleaning in Hershey, PA, we can walk you through each phase of the cleaning process and point out any “problem areas” or things that we notice may cause concern. 

Monitoring Your Smile For Dental Diseases

The best part about regularly coming in for dental appointments means that we will typically notice any problems while they’re still new, and we can treat them easily. When you go longer than six months or so between dental visits, it’s harder for you to keep your smile healthy while at home and harder for us to monitor your oral health and watch for red flags. When you’re in our dental chair regularly, however, we can spot cavities, oral cancer, bone loss, shifting teeth, and infections early. 

One of the most important conditions we check for during your dental visits is periodontal disease, commonly known as “gum disease.” Periodontal disease, which develops from a lack of proper oral hygiene and regular professional teeth cleanings, is a serious threat to your oral health and overall well-being. 

If we don’t catch your gum disease in its earliest stages during routine cleanings, your teeth may become loose, leading to eventual tooth loss and bone loss in your jaw. Gum disease is such a prevalent problem that it is the number-one cause of tooth loss in American adults. The good news is that gum disease is 100 percent preventable! The best ways to protect your smile against gum disease and tooth loss are to floss at least once every 24 hours, to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes, and to attend your semi-annual dental exams and cleanings every six months. 

Gentle Periodontal Treatment in the 17033 Area 

We’ve discussed how to avoid gum disease and the negative consequences the condition can have, but it’s also important to understand your treatment options if you do find yourself diagnosed with gum disease. We understand that life doesn’t always go according to plan, which is why we offer comprehensive, gentle periodontal treatment to get your smile back on track and healthy once again. 

Periodontal disease occurs when neglected plaque begins to build up underneath your gum line and between your teeth. When you don’t remove this plaque quickly, spaces known as “pockets” form and deepen, separating your teeth and gums. Your mouth cannot function properly with large pockets like these, and eventually, your teeth will loosen and even fall out. 

Thankfully, we can reverse gum disease if we catch it early enough and take the right steps to treat it. 

When you come in for each dental cleaning, our highly experienced dental hygienist will always check for gum disease signs by measuring the depth of the pockets between your teeth. A healthy smile will have pockets between 1 and 3 mm deep. If your pockets are between 3 and 4 mm, this is a red flag and indicates the very beginning of gum disease. Any pockets over 4 mm deep are unhealthy and are evidence that we need to treat your periodontal disease right away. 

Depending on the depth of your dental pockets and the extent of your gum disease, we may recommend a special deep cleaning known as “scaling and root planing.” This gum disease treatment in Hershey involves our dental team gently removing the build-up of plaque and bacteria to help your mouth heal more efficiently. 

We may also recommend you come in for follow-up dental appointments more often, such as three or four times per year instead of two. That way, we can keep a close eye on your gum disease and perform professional teeth cleanings more frequently to keep any additional plaque from becoming a problem.

We will, of course, always tailor your treatment plan to you specifically. Dr. Davis may recommend multiple procedures or more frequent follow-up appointments, depending on how far the gum disease has progressed. 

Take the First Step Toward a Healthier Smile

Whether you need a simple professional teeth cleaning or extensive gum disease treatment, our Hershey dentist office can provide all the dental services you need to get a healthier smile. Give our dental team a call today at (717) 533-4202 to schedule your next dental visit!