Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Examinations and Cleanings

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We believe in informing and educating our patients and encouraging you to take charge of your own healthcare. We welcome your questions and are happy to answer any concerns you may have about your dental health, your treatment, and our practice.

Please take a look through this selection of questions we often receive. If your question is not answered here or if you have additional questions, feel free to call us or contact us online using our convenient form.

Examinations and Cleanings

Your dental care is as personal and individualized as your medical care. Each person has unique needs and challenges when it comes to dental health. At our Sugar Land dental office, Dr. Reagan Grizzle tailors your dental care to your specific needs.

Our dental cleanings are not one size fits all. We recommend more extensive cleanings for people who suffer from periodontal (gum) disease or are more prone to getting decay. We may also recommend other preventative treatments like fluoride.

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone have a cleaning (and examination) every six months. For most of our patients, we feel that this recommendation is appropriate. However, if you have a history of decay or gum disease, we may recommend more frequent cleanings and exams to keep you healthy.

Even though most insurance companies only cover two exams and cleanings each year, we base our recommendations on what our patients need. So, if Dr. Grizzle or our hygienist recommend more frequent cleanings, it is because we want to do what it takes to keep you healthy. In most cases, the cost of additional cleanings and exams is minimal compared to some of the more complex treatments we might be able to avoid like fillings and periodontal treatment.

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, it’s time to schedule a dental exam so we can find out what’s causing the bleeding. Contrary to popular belief, it is not normal for your gums to bleed under any circumstances. Sometime, if the bleeding is in one area, it may mean that you have something lodged under your gums. We can help you remove it so that your gums can heal.

More often than not, patients come to us with general bleeding in their gums and that is an indication of a serious underlying condition called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection that has many negative effects on your body. Scientists discovered a link between periodontal disease and early death due to heart attacks and strokes.

The only way to accurately determine the cause of your bleeding is to do an exam. First, Dr. Grizzle will visually inspect the affected area. Next, he may take measurements of your gums to determine the presence and severity of the infection. Then, he may request an x-ray to determine what is happening inside the tooth and below your gum line.

One he makes a diagnosis, he can recommend treatment to help get you back on track to excellent health and wellness.

At each dental cleaning appointment, our hygienist makes a thorough inspection of your teeth, looking for any areas of concern. If our hygienist notices something that requires Dr. Grizzle’s attention, she will let him know right away because prevention and early treatment are both important.

In addition to a visual examination, our skilled hygienist performs an oral cancer screening. That means we look over all of the soft tissue inside your mouth and including your lips, under your tongue, and the back of your throat looking for any suspicious lesions. While oral cancer is not a common form of cancer, we examine all of our patients since we are the ones who see you every six months and would notice changes.

We may also perform a periodontal evaluation, a measurement of your gums, to determine if your gums are healthy.

Last but not least, our hygienist performs a professional teeth cleaning for you making sure to remove any tartar and plaque from your teeth. No matter how diligent your dental care is at home, your toothbrush and floss can simply not reach in every area of your mouth. Professional dental cleanings utilize special instruments to remove plaque and bacteria above and below your gum line. Then, we apply a special paste with a polisher to bring out the luster in your teeth.

Some of our patients wonder why dental exams are important at all, especially if nothing is going on. It may seem like Dr. Grizzle just looks inside your mouth and makes a determination that all is well, but what you may not realize is that he employs his expert diagnostic skills each time he looks in your mouth.

Dr. Reagan Grizzle does a visual assessment of your teeth noting any visible cracks or abnormal wear patterns that might indicate clenching, grinding, or problems with your bite. He looks for other problems like recession, broken cusps or visible decay.

If he sees something that concerns him, he will let you know right away. With many conditions, time is important. Sometimes when problems go untreated, they become bigger more costly dental issues.

At our Sugar Land dental office, we try to avoid dental problems with routine preventative treatments such as exams and cleanings. If a condition does arise, we make it a priority to treat it quickly and effectively while it is small. Any type of diagnosis requires Dr. Grizzle to confirm it. Dr. Grizzle is the one who is qualified to read and diagnose from x-rays and to make a treatment recommendation when it comes to your teeth. All of our preventative exams are to keep you in tiptop dental shape.

Occasionally, if you have symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, it may be necessary for you to have more frequent cleanings to help you stay healthy. Periodontal disease is a serious infection in your gums and when left untreated can create systemic complications including heart conditions, diabetes, and even cancer.

When we recommend more frequent cleanings, it is to help your gums heal properly. Once you have had gum disease, you are more susceptible to a reoccurrence. While six months is enough for most people, some patients may need more frequent visits to maintain their health.

Cleanings for people with gum disease are often more thorough and gently sterilize your teeth above and below the gum line, removing the active infection so your gums have an opportunity to heal. We take measurements of our patients’ gums in order to identify and treat any infections. Other signs of periodontal disease include bleeding or tender gums.

Dr. Reagan Grizzle takes your health and wellness seriously. He knows the importance of healthy teeth and gums during all phases of your life. The treatment plan he recommends takes into account your needs and unique dental needs. We will monitor your progress carefully over time. Rest assured you are in good hands at our office.

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