Five steps to a healthier smile: The dental exam and professional cleaning in Maryville, TN

We are privileged to practice proactive dentistry at Proffitt Dentistry. Led by Dr. William F. Proffitt, Jr., our office in Maryville, TN, partners closely with our “extended family” (our patients) to keep their mouths healthy and smiles looking great. Maintaining excellent oral health is less time-consuming, traumatic, invasive, and costly than dentistry that reacts to existing damage and conditions with treatment options and dental restorations. 

A foundation for preventive dental care is the routine exam and cleaning. These visits are generally scheduled once every six months. Suppose you have existing gum disease, smoke, or have other risk factors for conditions such as periodontitis. In that case, Dr. Proffitt will recommend more frequent visits to our office, which serves Eastern Tennessee. We’re happy to provide a quick glimpse into some of the things that you can expect during these foundational “check-ups”:

  • Prophylaxis (professional cleaning) – The “prophy,” as it’s known, is just another way of referring to cleanings by our registered dental hygienists. Our hygienists are trained in the use of specialized instruments. So, they can effectively and painlessly remove plaque build-up, stubborn tartar, and surface stains. 
  • Scaling and root planing – If your gums are inflamed, we may recommend a “deep cleaning.” Bacterial plaque is removed from under the gum line, and the teeth’ roots are smoothed to prevent bacteria from attaching to rough root surfaces. 
  • X-rays – We use safe and comfortable digital x-rays as an alternative to film-based radiography. These x-rays aid your dentist in visualizing the inside of your mouth and associated oral structures. They help accurately detect periodontal disease, dental decay, and other conditions that require immediate treatment. 
  • Oral cancer screening – We will also screen for any lumps, bumps, or other abnormalities that could be indicative of precancerous or cancerous lesions. A small sample of suspect tissue may also be taken (biopsied) to confirm the presence of cancer cells. Early detection means prompt and successful treatment. 
  • Tailored guidance – Our dentist and hygienists provide recommendations on techniques to enhance oral care at home, as well as on oral care products to aid in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. We may also recommend a wide range of other preventive services, which are only available at the dentist’s office. These include fluoride supplementation with Silver Diamine Fluoride, dental sealants, mouthguards, nightguards, and other oral appliances. 

Dr. Proffitt uses numerous technologies to support the most relaxing and comfortable experience at the dentist’s office. In addition to some of the procedures mentioned here, we also use non-invasive DIAGNOdent™ laser cavity detection and drill-free air abrasion techniques. These and other investments have eliminated many familiar sources of dental fear, including the sensation and sound associated with traditional rotary dental instruments. Experience proactive, fear-free dentistry today. Contact us to schedule your appointment. You can reach us at (865) 432-0804.