Exams & Cleaning

General Dentistry located in Seattle, WA

Exams & Cleaning services offered in Seattle, WA

Dental exams and cleanings are an essential part of your regular oral health care. At Alki Dental in Seattle, Washington, Hanbit Chi, DDS, and Sara Park, DDS, offer these routine, preventive exams to help you stay on top of oral hygiene, screen for possible problems, and prevent future gum disease or decay. Call the West Seattle office or click on this website to schedule your appointment online today. 

What are routine exams and cleanings?

You benefit from at least a twice-yearly dental exam and professional cleaning, no matter how well you take care of your teeth at home. Professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that a regular toothbrush can’t effectively reach. Your dental exam includes a thorough exam of your teeth, gums, and jaw to check for the beginnings of decay, underlying tooth or bone problems, and potential gum disease. 

Once per year, you’ll also have digital X-rays taken to examine the inner workings of your teeth and jaw. 

What happens during a dental exam and cleaning?

If you’re due for digital X-rays, your technician takes them at the start of your visit. They also review any changes in your general or oral health history. 

The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to briefly examine your mouth for any signs of problems. If all looks good, the hygienist starts the cleaning process. 

They use specialized tools to remove tartar and plaque from the gumline and between your teeth. Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that put you at risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay. This initial cleaning is brief if you keep up with daily brushing and flossing, but if you have a lot of plaque or tartar to remove, it may take some time.

Your hygienist uses a high-powered toothbrush with a rotating head and gritty toothpaste to remove any remaining tartar and minor surface stains. Flossing then follows your cleaning. 

Next, your dentist examines your mouth and any X-rays for evidence of cavities or tooth problems. They also perform a brief oral cancer screening and check the health of your gums. 

Do adults receive fluoride at exams and cleanings?

After your professional cleaning and dental exam, you may elect to have an adult fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a natural element that protects your teeth, making them resistant to decay.

Your dental hygienist paints the fluoride varnish onto your teeth using a small brush. It takes just a few seconds to harden. 

If you’re due for a dental cleaning and exam, contact Alki Dental today. Call the office to request an appointment or reach out online.