Every profession has its distinctive tools of the trade. Artists know they produce their best work with the finest pens, teachers search out the highest quality textbooks, and scientists scour stores for unbreakable beakers. Dentists are no different. In caring, qualified hands, dental instruments can work wonders for your smile and your oral health alike. Unfortunately, given that many people suffer from dental anxiety, cleaning tools have sometimes gotten a bad reputation as being scary. Dr. Craig Armstrong and our team want you to feel relaxed and confident when you come in for your biannual cleanings and examinations. In the following blog, we go over the basic tooth tools we use to spruce up your smile during these twice-yearly visits.
One of our primary goals in cleaning your teeth is removing plaque, that sticky film that can coat your teeth, attracting decay-causing bacteria and discoloring your smile. Even more detrimental is tartar, the hardened form of plaque, which can only be removed by a dental professional. We use a special device to break apart these particles so they can be removed. As EHow explains: “an ultrasonic instrument is one of the first tools used by dentists during the teeth cleaning process. This particular instrument is used with water while creating high frequency vibrations that help loosen plaque and tartar.” This process is typically comfortable and fast.
Once we’ve shaken up the plaque particles, we have to scrub them away from your smile. To do so, we use one or more scraping tools. These metal instruments glide across the surface of your tooth, clearing out the sugars, bacteria, saliva, and other particulate matter to leave your smile healthy and refreshed.
Polishing Your Pearly Whites
Once your teeth have become a clean slate, free of that harmful buildup, we make them shine with a polisher. This is similar to a toothbrush, but much more sophisticated and effective. EHow describes: “the [electric tooth] polisher is dipped into a gritty paste which is then massaged onto the teeth, making them more smooth and polished. Keeping the teeth smooth helps to prevent the plaque from sticking to them in between professional teeth cleanings.” You know that great feeling when you walk out of the dentist’s office and can’t help but slide your tongue over your now-silky smile? You have the polisher to thank for that.
21st Century X-Rays
The other key component to a cleaning is the examination. During this assessment, Dr. Armstrong will evaluate your mouth for signs of oral cancer, potential periodontal disease, cavities, and more. This type of preventive care allows us to catch problems before they become difficult to treat, making your life much easier in the long run. One of our most important diagnostic tools is radiography. For decades, our only option was to take X-Rays on film. This was a relatively slow process, and it exposed patients to more radiation.
Fortunately, at Dr. Armstrong’s office, we offer state-of-the-art digital X-Rays. These images are more accurate, available instantly, and they reduce the already-low level of radiation by approximately 75 percent! How often we use this incredible tool depends on each patient’s unique needs. Some may only require X-Rays every couple of years but, if you’re at risk for certain dental conditions, we may recommend more frequent radiography. No matter how often you need X-Rays, you’ll be impressed with the speed, ease, and sophistication of our digital tools!
Experience Our Advanced Cleaning Instruments
Cleaning your teeth is a cinch with our innovative instruments and Dr. Armstrong’s prowess. Contact our Houston dental practice today to learn more and schedule your next cleaning appointment!