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Your hygiene appointment:

It is normally recommended that patients have a dental examination and cleaning two times annually. Cortland County does not have a fluoridated water supply, which means frequent dental cleanings and exams are critical to maintaining dental health, particularly in this area.

Our office suggests dental radiographs (X-rays) be taken once per year. Routine X-rays serve as a diagnostic tool to indicate early dental caries (cavities), periodontal bone loss, and/or abscesses. Early detection and treatment alleviates dental discomfort in most cases.

Your oral exam, performed by Peg or Beth, will include any necessary x-rays, soft tissue evaluation, caries detection, removal of plaque, stain and calculus (tartar), polishing and flossing. For those individuals 16 years of age or younger, topical fluoride treatments are applied. The doctor will also examine the patient in all cases. The fee for cleanings has been kept low as part of our practice philosophy, because we feel it is the most essential part of keeping your teeth healthy.

Your hygienist will also evaluate your home care. Knowing and practicing appropriate oral hygiene are important factors in maintaining a healthy smile. Removing sticky bacterial plaque from all surfaces of your teeth, by way of brushing and flossing, is an essential part of oral hygiene. If indicated, plaque removal techniques are discussed and demonstrated.

In some cases, newly erupted teeth (molars) have deep grooves which may serve as food retention sites, possibly resulting in tooth decay. As a preventive measure, dental sealants may be suggested. A sealant is a material which is flowed into the deep grooves, resulting in a smooth biting surface. It is a relatively simple procedure requiring a dry work field and no anesthesia.

For patients with periodontal (gum disease) concerns, our office works closely with area periodontists. It is often recommended these patients adhere to a three month dental cleaning schedule. We share in the goal of maintaining optimal periodontal care and support, and we are able to provide early stage periodontal cleanings prior to specialist-care, saving you the funds.