Preventive Dentistry and Dental cleanings are the foundation for healthy smiles

Dental cleanings at Westlake Family Dentistry in Lake Oswego, Oregon, are a wonderful investment in your health and smile! Also known as “oral prophylaxis,” professional cleaning is a cornerstone of preventative dentistry. Derived from the Greek word “prophylaktikós” (“to protect”), the prophy or dental cleaning maintains the health of your teeth, gums, and associated oral tissues. In turn, conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease are avoided. Dental decay and periodontal (gum) disease are the two leading causes of tooth loss.

The power of professional care

Cleanings performed by the skilled dental hygienists at our office are a necessary complement to excellent oral hygiene at home. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth. This sticky bacterial film feeds off the starches and sugars in our foods and drinks. For this reason, it is important that we consistently and thoroughly floss between teeth, and brush our teeth, gums, and other areas that harbor bacteria (such as the tongue). Even the most diligent patients, however, cannot possibly remove all plaque. As plaque builds up, it hardens and forms tartar or calculus. Tartar is stubborn; it can only be removed with specialized dental tools and a skilled hand.

Plaque releases toxins that erode the gums, which provide healthy attachment and support to the teeth. Plaque also hastens a destructive process, whereby the teeth are broken down – starting from the outside (protective enamel), with decay working its way through the tooth if not treated promptly and effectively.

Don’t restore; prevent!

Routine cleanings at our office control bacteria and plaque. They present a great way to protect tooth enamel and gum tissue. Generally, these cleanings are scheduled once every six months. Patients who smoke or have other risk factors for dental disease are encouraged to visit us more frequently. During these visits, we also use advanced diagnostics (such as digital X-rays and lasers) to pinpoint early-stage enamel erosion or gum inflammation before it causes irreparable damage. Our team is also there for you, providing suggestions on oral care techniques and products to enhance the effectiveness of your home hygiene routine.

Those with active gum disease may also benefit from a “deep cleaning,” or non-surgical Scaling and Root Planing (SRP). We are also happy to discuss preventive services, such as dental sealants or fluoride supplementation. These preventative treatments are largely cost-effective (may be 100% covered by insurance), conservative and tooth-preserving, non-traumatic and gentle, and convenient and efficient. Experience our proactive, pleasant approach.

Schedule an appointment today by calling us at (503) 386-4164.