Make a commitment to your long-term oral health and wellbeing today – by booking a routine dental check-up you are prioritising your health and granting yourself peace of mind and security at the same time as investing in the health and appearance of your smile.
Routine Dental Check-Ups are extremely important for maintaining good oral health. Prevention is always better than cure, and regular attendance with your dentist enables us to identify any evidence or risks of dental disease at an early stage, or address any concerns or issues that you have noticed occurring, which means that you can avoid lengthy and costly dental treatment down the road. For example, catching a small cavity or plaque build-up and implementing simple, early intervention, can avoid altogether its progression into full-blown deep dental decay, requiring a Root Canal or another advanced invasive treatment.
We understand that it can be daunting to attend your dentist after a long time, or if you have missed previous Check-Ups, which can readily lead to a tailspin of worry, shame and avoidance. This is more common than you know, and we can assure you that on the day of your appointment everyone, from our friendly, welcoming receptionists through to every member of our highly professional clinical team will quickly put you at ease and support your decision to invest in your health and wellbeing through providing an affirming, judgement-free experience at every visit.
A routine Check-Up with one of our reassuring and approachable dentists will give you the opportunity to address any concerns you may have been having and get back on track with maintaining your dental care – followed by a Scale and Polish treatment with our thorough dental hygienist for a professional cleaning and tailored advice and demonstrations of how to optimise your oral hygiene routine, you will soon forget any anxiety you had about getting back into the dental chair.
Many of our patients came to Dame Street Dental for their first Check-Up in many years, because of our promise that it is never too late to take back control of your oral health.
During your standard Dental Check-Up, your dentist will carry out a comprehensive dental examination, which involves an assessment of your teeth and the surrounding gums and tissues to identify any evidence of tooth decay, infection or disease or at-risk areas for future disease or complications. A screening for oral cancer is also carried out at this stage to ensure that you are not at risk. Your dentist will also likely take some dental X-rays to assess your bone health, particularly if any issues or concerns are raised (such as from an impacted wisdom tooth or any damage or cracking of your teeth) and to have a closer look at the welfare of the roots of your teeth.
You will have the opportunity to ask questions of your care provider at any time, and will be invited to share any concerns you may have regarding your teeth or gums. If you have noticed any problems such as increased sensitivity, swelling, or pain, or indeed if you would like to discuss any aspect of changing the appearance of your smile, your dentist will be more than happy to address your concerns at this appointment and provide you a roadmap for ongoing care based on your examination.
Following your examination and this discussion, your dentist will provide you with a full treatment plan, detailing any further dental treatment which your check-up has revealed that you will benefit from. This will naturally include a referral to our dental hygienist to complete your routine oral care with a standard Scale and Polish treatment (if you have not already booked that treatment at the same time as booking your initial Dental Check-Up appointment).
We believe in complete transparency when it comes to the cost of your treatment. While you are of course entitled to one free Dental Check-Up and Scale and Polish every year using your PRSI contributions, any additional treatment or procedures which your dentist has advised you to receive will be detailed in full on your treatment plan, including a full breakdown of the expected costs involved for each proposed state of treatment. Our team will also be happy to go through all of Dame Street Dental’s available payment plans which we offer to all of our patients to help make quality, necessary dental care manageable for all lifestyles and budgets.
Whether you have booked your routine Scale and Polish treatment at the same time as your regular Dental Check-Up, or your dentist has referred you for this following that visit, your cleaning procedure will be carried out by our skilled dental hygienist. A professional clean with this expert in periodontal (gum) health encompasses both your teeth and gums, and is a highly effective method of removing staining, plaque and calculus (sometimes called ‘tartar’) build-up, which is either out of the reach of routine home brushing or has become too calcified to remove without help.
First, your teeth will be ‘scaled’ using a high-tech, Ultrasonic scaler, which uses high frequency vibrations along with a stream of water to remove calculus, plaque and stains from your teeth. We then finish off with a gentle polish of your teeth using a motorised rubber cup and a polishing paste, which removes any remaining stains or bacteria and leaves your teeth feeling smooth and fresh.
While the vast majority of patients will not experience any discomfort during this procedure whatsoever, we always make the application of local anaesthetic or a dental numbing gel available – if you have heightened tooth sensitivity or have experienced pain or sensitivity during a Scale and Polish in the past, please let us know so that we can ensure to make this as comfortable as possible for you.
Scale and Polish treatment is particularly beneficial for patients suffering from the early and reversible form of gum disease known as gingivitis, but our dental hygienists are expertly equipped to offer you cleaning and treatment advice tailored to your specific situation, whether you need help managing or preventing bleeding gums, bad breath or loose teeth. Some patients with more advanced gum disease may need to undergo a more intensive, deep clean of their gums in a procedure known as Root Debridement and your hygienist will make you aware if you require this treatment during your visit.
A Scale and Polish appointment is also an excellent opportunity for our dedicated hygienists to really take the time to explain the best methods for maintaining excellent oral hygiene – there is no question too small, whether you need to know how to actually floss with success, or what an effective and impactful brushing regimen is; our hygienists will happily advise and show you exactly how it’s done, so that you leave the clinic smiling every time.
The recommended interval between routine Dental Check-ups and Scale and Polish treatments is every 6 months, with the Irish Dental Association advising a frequency of at least once a year1. A regular, twice-yearly visit ensures that your dentist will identify any problems as early as possible, allowing for timely intervention that prevents the development of future dental problems which will be more complicated, time-consuming and costly to fix
Your dentist will advise at your first check-up what the best interval is for you. Some patients who are at higher risk of disease or those who get calculus build up faster than others will require more frequent visits (such as routine hygiene treatments every 3-4 months).
Your mouth, teeth and gums will all be assessed to ensure there is no current or threatened gum disease, tooth decay or infection, or any signs or risks for oral cancer. X-rays are also usually taken at this visit to assess your bone health, particularly if you have noticed any unusual or worrying symptoms.
A comprehensive treatment plan will be drawn up for any treatment which are found to be beneficial for you following this assessment, and your dentist will discuss the best course of action for any dental problems which have come to light during your check-up. Finally, in the majority of cases your dental hygienist will also carry out a Scale and Polish cleaning and maintenance treatment at this visit.
At Dame Street Dental we know that prevention is always better than cure. In recommending regular, routine check-ups and monitoring of your oral health, we are dedicated to preventing dental decay from getting to the stage where more advanced treatment is required.
When it is the case that you may need more extensive treatment our initial aim is to save your original teeth whenever possible – whether that is through treatment with a Dental Crown, Root Canal Treatment, or with Dental Filling. Even in the case of a tooth that is severely damaged, broken down or fractured beyond repair, our team of highly experienced implant dentists will be able to offer you expert care and provide you with a Dental Implants and restoration which can perfectly mimic your original, undamaged tooth.
And if you are worried about crooked teeth, gaps between your teeth or the general appearance or any discolouration of your smile, our cosmetic dentists will be more than happy to discuss the treatment options that are available to completely transform your smile – whether through treatment with conventional Braces or Invisalign aligners to straighten and correct your teeth, or our range of techniques utilising Veneers, Composite Bonding or Tooth Whitening to perfect your pearly whites.
At Dame Street Dental we are delighted for anyone to attend for their Dental Check-up, regardless of how long it has been. Our team understand the barriers and circumstances that can so easily prevent anyone from maintaining a regular dental care routine, and how anxiety or embarrassment about this cycle can only make the situation worse.
Our team practices what we preach, and we believe that it is never too late to take your oral health into your own hands, and we will support you along every step of the way, giving you the information, tools and motivation to improve your health. All of our treatment is carried out in the most comfortable and judgement-free environment, keeping your needs and wellbeing at the centre of care.
For most people a Scale and Polish is an entirely painless and relaxing experience. It is a non-invasive treatment, meaning our ultrasonic tooth scaler uses only high-pressure water and vibrations to clean your teeth. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity this may make the treatment a little bit uncomfortable, however we can offer either local anaesthetic or numbing gel to reduce any sensitivity and ensure that you experience no discomfort throughout.
Yes, it is really important to maintain your regular Scale and Polish appointments. When plaque hardens into calculus it can’t be removed at home with a toothbrush, it can harbour bacteria and cause the progression of gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
Maintaining healthy gums will also protect your overall health by eliminating harmful bacteria from the mouth preventing it from spreading around the body.
A Scale and Polish is really effective at successfully removing discolouration caused by calculus, and the staining from heavily pigmented consumables such as tea, coffee and red wine, and even some of the staining caused by smoking. The treatment will give your teeth a cleaner, shinier appearance, but it will not make them whiter than their natural colour.
Following your Scale and Polish treatment, if it is newly whitened teeth that you are after, then we would highly recommend our safe and effective professional Tooth Whitening.
Dental hygienists are specially trained, qualified gum experts. Their role in your oral healthcare covers everything from cleaning teeth, educating patients on how to maintain and perfect your oral hygiene routine, and the carrying out of treatments of mild to advanced gum disease. This includes treatments such as routine Scale and Polish ultrasonic cleaning procedures, deeper cleaning measures as needed in a Root Debridement treatment, and also the performance of preventative treatments such as Fissure Sealants and fluoride application.
In a healthy mouth no, scaling your teeth during a Scale and Polish treatment can’t loosen your teeth.
However, in patients who have extremely advanced gum disease with a significant build-up of calculus, their teeth may feel slightly looser after this procedure, as this substance was the only thing holding the teeth in place. This situation is not extremely common, and in most cases will be noticed by your hygienist during your treatment visit, but if your teeth have reached this stage then you are likely to be recommended back to your dentist, as further treatment may be required.
Ready to take control of your oral health and book your next routine Dental Check-Up today?