Dental Hygiene

Top Rated Dental Hygienists in Clearwater
Hygiene Related Dental Procedures, Options & Details

Dr. Craig Baker and his team of hygienists have the experience and credentials you should look for when considering a new dentist for your regular checkups and dental hygiene.

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Dedicated to life-long learning, Dr. Baker has averaged 80 continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout his career; the minimum requirements for the state of Florida are 20 continuing education credit hours per licensing period!

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Dr. Craig Baker, with a high-tech dental hygiene office located in Clearwater, has been serving patients from Largo, St. Petersburg & Pinellas County, Florida since 2005.

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Dental Checkups & Cleanings

The American Dental Association encourages people to visit the dental office at least every six months, no matter their age. Why is that? Because dental examinations, evaluations and cleanings are essential to keep your mouth healthy. Cleanings, also known as “prophylaxis” or “prophies,” are indispensable to oral health. While doing the cleaning, the team at Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater can evaluate a patient’s situation and make sure there are no more significant issues such as periodontal disease or cavities. During the process, our dental hygienists will have the chance to remove plaque, tartar, and calculus that have been accumulated between appointments. Besides, we can also educate patients on how to take better care of their smile, particularly if they have inquiries regarding proper brushing and flossing.

How often should I visit the practice for a cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends people to visit the dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and examinations. By taking a proactive approach, patients will notice how easy it is to keep their smile.

Regular Check-ups

Video 01:00 | Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and eating balanced, healthy meals are important to maintaining a healthy smile. Regular dental visits are also extremely important to prevent and treat oral disease. Learn why regularly visiting a dentist can help keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.

What can I expect during a dental cleaning?

Many steps are involved in dental cleanings, and patients often don’t realize that. At Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater, our dental hygienists perform prophies in a particular way and order.

Firstly, plaque and tartar developed on the teeth between appointments are removed with a scaler machine.
Next, a special, gritty, and rough toothpaste is used with our high-performance brushes to clean the teeth while buffing away surface stains thoroughly.
Third, the dental hygienist flosses between teeth to eliminate any food particles that may be stuck.
In the next step, patients will have a rinse to remove any leftover toothpaste from the mouth.
Lastly, fluoride treatments and sealants will be applied when suggested by the dentist.

After the dental hygienist has cleaned the teeth with a thorough prophylaxis, the dentist will evaluate the smile’s situation. Since the dental hygienist did the cleaning, he or she may pass any significant concerns to our dentist before his evaluation. In this way, the dental hygienist and the dentist work together to guarantee patients have healthy smiles free from periodontal disease, infections and cavities.

Periodontal Treatment

Our main objective as dentists is to keep your smile healthy. That’s why, at Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater, we insist so much on the brushing and flossing technique. A proper oral hygiene routine is the only way of preventing dental problems as periodontal disease or tooth decay. In addition to that, regular check-up visits are also crucial to maintain oral health. Our hygienists can clean areas that you cannot reach easily with your bush, and our dentist can spot dental issues before they get too serious.

However, if any of this advice is not followed or the patient has a strong susceptibility to oral infections, problems might arise. If periodontal disease develops, the patient will need to work closely with our dentist to recover oral health. Now it’s no longer about regular prophies; the patient will need special cleaning sessions with our dentist and a firm commitment to keep the teeth clean at home. Periodontal disease should be taken seriously, as it can end up with the loss of multiple teeth and general health affection.

What Is Periodontal Maintenance?

At Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater, we offer different services like early diagnosis and treatment of specific conditions such as periodontal or gum disease. These infections can severely affect your mouth, causing long-term, irreversible damage. It is essential that those patients in the Clearwater, Florida area showing periodontal disease’s signs book an evaluation appointment with our dentists to discuss treatment.

Periodontal Screening

Video 01:00 | Gums that are red, tender or swollen may indicate periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Because you can have periodontal disease without knowing it, it’s important to visit your dentist for periodontal screening. Discover more about how to prevent, detect and treat periodontal disease.

What is gingivitis, and how is it treated?

Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal diseases. At Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater, our main objective is to treat this disease, keeping the condition from getting worse and becoming a more severe problem. Our dentists describe gingivitis as the first stage of the periodontal infection. If patients are not correctly diagnosed with this condition at the early stages, they are putting their entire smile at risk of developing the later stages of periodontitis. As this condition worsens, it is more challenging to control, and when it’s not treated on time, it provokes a significant loss of gum and bone tissue. Eventually, periodontal disease ends up in multiple teeth loss.

Gingivitis therapy consists of a cleaning procedure that aims to remove the dental plaque and tartar that are causing the infection. On some occasions, antibiotics might be needed, as well. They can be applied directly onto the soft tissues or delivered orally to address the condition. Gingivitis therapy is cheaper and less invasive at the early stages. The treatments performed when the disease advances are much more invasive, so at Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater, we encourage patients to take a proactive approach to gingivitis.

What are the signs of gingivitis?

Both patients and dentists can often recognize the early signs of gingivitis. We encourage patients to book an appointment with our dental experts at Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Clearwater if they are noticing signs, such as:

Swelling and redness of the gum tissues
Blood in the gumline (spontaneous or while brushing)
Frequent bad breath (halitosis)
What occurs if I don’t care for my oral health when gingivitis advances?

When caught early, the development of gingivitis is easily manageable. However, as time goes on, patients who ignore this condition’s signs are putting their smiles at risk. Later stages of periodontitis, without proper treatment, might cause the loss of teeth, gums, and jawbone. These damages can be permanent and harmful to their overall well-being.

What Is A Root Planing Procedure?

At Baker Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we strongly suggest those patients suffering from periodontal disease undergo a treatment known as “scaling and root planing” (SRP). It is one of the most effective ways to stop the progression of late-stage periodontitis. SRP consists of a deep cleaning that removes dental plaque and tartar both on the teeth’ surface and below the gum line. This is the main difference with regular prophies. While the regular cleanings do a great job in removing calculus and plaque from the teeth’s crowns, they don’t reach the surface of the root below the gumline. SRP is only done by dentists. They use a special ultrasonic scaler machine during the whole treatment and a hand scaler for details.

Scaling and Root Planing

Video courtesy of ADA

By removing the dental plaque and tartar, the inflammation of the area will decrease, stopping this way the bone resorption and the progression of the disease. This therapy is usually aided with antibiotics, which help to control the bacterial infection.

Will SRP cure periodontal disease?

As mentioned before, patients should be aware that periodontal disease can only be controlled – not cured. Once the case is evaluated and the dentist has determined in which stage of periodontal disease the patient is, treatment gets started. Apart from the mandatory SRP sessions that need to be done every few months, patients will need to work closely with the dentist to see how they can improve their oral hygiene routine at home to prevent tartar and dental plaque accumulation. The treatment of periodontal disease requires effort and commitment, but it’s the only way of having a healthy smile once again!

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