Checkups and Cleanings in Katy

checkups-cleaningsA Proactive Approach to Dental Care

As a child, your parents probably told you time and time again to brush your teeth and stay away from too much candy and soda pop. This wasn’t idle advice; it was your first lesson in preventive dental care. Preventing problems such as gum disease and tooth decay from occurring in the first place will help you enjoy fresher breath, healthier teeth and gums, and a more beautiful smile longer. While brushing and flossing your teeth according to American Dental Association guidelines is a great first step toward achieving optimal oral health, you also need the help of a caring, talented family dentist. At Lathrop Dental Center, we provide gentle but thorough dental checkups and cleanings that help keep an eye on developing problems and remove every last trace of plaque and tartar buildup.

Dental Checkups: What to Expect

Dr. Colin Lathrop performs thorough dental checkups on patients of all ages past age two. Dr. Lathrop believes in incorporating the latest technology as part of our approach to comprehensive dentistry. During your checkup, we will examine your mouth with a digital X-ray unit. This breakthrough technology provides us with a clear view of the hard oral structures not visible to the naked eye and even identifies gum disease and dental caries in the earliest stages. Even though dental checkups might seem uneventful (and even a little boring), Dr. Lathrop and his assisting staff are busy taking note of a number of dental and gum health issues, including:

  • Presence of tooth decay or cavities.
  • Presence of gingivitis or gum disease.
  • Occlusion problems (how you top and bottom dental arch meet).
  • Whether the TMJs are functioning properly.
  • Spacing issues, including crowding, overlapping, and large gaps.
  • Aging dental work, such as fillings or dental crowns that may have sustained damage or are no longer providing adequate protection for your tooth.
  • Soft tissue abnormalities that could indicate oral cancer (or another problem).
  • Cosmetic issues such as chipped teeth or enamel stains that may call for teeth whitening treatments.

During your checkup, Dr. Lathrop and his assistant will also use an intraoral camera to take extremely close-up pictures of your teeth. Projected onto an in-room monitor, these images provide you with a detailed view of exactly what problems Dr. Lathrop has identified.

Dental Cleanings: What to Expect

During a regular dental cleanings, a member of our hygiene staff will use the ultrasonic scaler to begin the cleaning process. High frequency vibrations emitted by the scaler loosen tartar and plaque from the tooth along the gum line. After using the scaler, the hygienist will use a traditional hand tool to gently eliminate the loosened debris. Next, we will use a special polishing paste to scour the surface of the teeth, remove trace stains, and leave your teeth feeling incredibly smooth and clean. Throughout the dental cleaning process, we will spritz the mouth with water and then use a hand-held suction device to remove the water, helping you mouth stay hydrated but not too full or water.

About Special Cleanings

If, during your checkup, Dr. Lathrop recognizes a significant problem, like gum disease, he may recommend a specialized “deep” cleaning. During this process, the dentist cleans deep below the gum line, removing plaque and tartar and smoothing out the surfaces of the tooth’s roots to discourage further plaque buildup. In some cases, Dr. Lathrop can use our soft tissue laser to effectively remove infected gum tissue with minimal discomfort and healing time.

    A proactive approach to dentistry meets a compassionate approach to patient care.

    Ready to fall in love with your smile, but not sure where to start? Send us a photo or a question of your smile, and Dr. Lathrop will respond!