Cleanings & Exam | Wright & Smith Dentistry Tuscaloosa | 205-759-2811
Walter H Smith

Serving Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas

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Cleanings & Exams

The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist twice a year for comprehensive exams and dental cleanings, and we agree. Staying current with these two basic services will go a long way toward keeping you out of the dental chair for more complicated treatment in the future.

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In spite of your best efforts during at-home oral hygiene, the only way to completely remove the buildup of plaque on your teeth is a professional dental cleaning by a trained hygienist.


We constantly stress the importance of prevention as the best defense you have for protecting your oral health. Oral hygiene is at the top of the list of prevention practices that virtually guarantee optimal oral health. Regular professional dental cleanings with a trained hygienist are the foundation upon which we build a smile that is healthy and beautiful.


Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a serious threat to your oral health and overall well-being. If gum disease isn’t caught in its early stages during routine cleanings, it can cause teeth to loosen and will eventually lead to tooth and bone loss. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.

Professional Dental Cleanings

Removal of plaque: The sticky film that forms on your teeth all day is called plaque. We need to remove plaque because it provides a home for bacteria to thrive. When you brush at home, you remove some of this plaque. But no matter how thoroughly you brush, you simply can’t get your brush into every tiny crevice where plaque collects.


Removal of tartar: If plaque is allowed to sit on your teeth, it hardens into a substance called tartar. You may also hear it referred to as calculus. Tartar is composed of mineral deposits that adhere to the surface of the tooth. It’s very important to remove these deposits because otherwise they can lead to inflamed gums, bad breath, and chronic gum disease.


Teeth polishing: The final step in your dental cleaning is to polish your teeth. This helps to remove surface stains and leaves your teeth feeling fresh and clean.

What Happens During a Professional Cleaning

The purpose of your dental exam is to visually inspect your teeth and identify any changes since your last visit. During exams at our office, we will:


  • Check teeth for signs of potential decay

  • Screen gums and bone to look for abnormalities

  • Screen for oral cancer

  • Check for signs of periodontal disease

  • If necessary, take x-rays using our safe digital radiography


Comprehensive exams provide us with a thorough assessment of your overall oral health. They’re crucial because checking your teeth regularly allows us to identify and note any potential problems that may develop in the future.

The Dental Exam