Checkups & Cleanings

What Is a Dental Checkup?


Checkups and cleanings are the most important forms of dental care that anyone can receive. You should attend an appointment at least once every six months (or as often as Dr. Carter recommends, according to your dental health needs). During your checkup, we’ll carefully examine your teeth, gums, and oral tissues to check for signs of trouble that may be developing. That may include signs of tooth decay, such as enamel erosion; or gum disease, such as deepened periodontal pockets. The earlier we can detect and treat concerns, the better your chances of addressing them with conservative treatment.

What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer is one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer, with mortality rates that outpace most others. However, when oral cancer is detected early, patients have a much greater chance of successfully treating and recovering from it. During every dental checkup, we’ll also perform a comprehensive oral cancer screening, including using VELscope® technology for more precise and accurate diagnostic results. We’ll also show you how to perform self-examinations at home at least once a month between your checkup appointments.

What Is Dental Cleaning?

Part of your appointments also include professional dental cleaning, which involves carefully and thoroughly cleaning away all plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from the surfaces of your teeth. If you’ve missed any traces of plaque during your daily brushing and flossing routine, then it may have calcified into tartar in the meantime, making it impervious to your toothbrush and toothpaste. Professional cleaning is the only way to routinely remove tartar and the harmful oral bacteria that could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and more.

What Is Periodontal Cleaning?

Periodontal cleaning, or scaling and root planing, is a more involved form of professional dental cleaning that involves removing bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the roots of your teeth. When oral bacteria accumulate underneath your gums, they lead to gingivitis – an infection that quickly evolves into severe gum disease. Scaling and root planing, which we can perform using ultrasonic technology, can gently break up and remove plaque and tartar to treat or prevent gum disease and the damage it can cause.

Schedule a checkup and cleaning

Professional checkup and cleaning appointments are essential to keeping your smile healthy and avoiding the need for more extensive dental treatment. To schedule an appointment, call Elm Creek Dental in Maple Grove, MN, at (763) 416-0606. We also proudly serve the residents of Brooklyn Park, Rogers, Elk River, Osseo, Otsego, Plymouth, Wayzata, and all surrounding communities.