Routine dental care is the foundation of a beautiful, healthy smile. When you get exams and professional cleanings on a regular basis – ideally at least every six months – you will be taking important steps to reduce your risk of oral diseases that can devastate your smile’s appearance as well as your oral health.

We recognize that some people have anxiety about seeing the dentist, and we are committed to ensuring that you get adequate care despite your fears. That is why we prioritize patient comfort and offer options such as nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation to help patients overcome those fears when necessary. If you’ve gotten off-track with your routine dental checkups, call us today to schedule an appointment and take advantage of these services.


Checkups and Cleanings

When Dr. Ku monitors your teeth and gums for signs of issues such as cavities, gum disease, and even oral cancer on a regular basis, it’s much easier to diagnose those conditions at earlier stages when more conservative treatments can be effective in addressing them. In the case of oral cancer, semiannual checkups can be a lifesaving endeavor because the prognosis for this disease is good when it is identified early. Unfortunately, though, many cases of oral cancer aren’t diagnosed until they have already spread to surrounding tissue, making it much harder to treat. These checkups are short and painless, but they have tremendous benefits.

Professional cleanings by a dental hygienist, known as dental prophylaxis, are also provided at the six-month checkup appointment. This service is also integral to maintaining your oral health, even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing as directed. While a home oral hygiene routine is an essential contributor to a healthy smile, it is not sufficient in itself to protect your teeth from the effects of plaque and tartar. It can be difficult to keep certain parts of the smile clean enough with your own toothbrush, but a dental hygienist will have a better angle on these spots to remove any plaque and tartar that have accumulated there. Your teeth will also be polished after they are cleaned, boosting your smile’s appearance.


Preventive Treatments

In some cases, patients may want to include additional preventive treatments beyond cleanings and exams. Fluoride treatments help to promote re-mineralization of your teeth to keep them strong and healthy. Fluoride also protects the teeth from the effects of the acid byproducts of oral bacteria, which cause tooth decay. Dental sealants can serve a similar purpose. Be sure to ask Dr. Ku which preventive treatment will be most beneficial for you.

If more than six months have passed since your last exam and cleaning, call our office to set up an appointment and get back on track with your dental care.

General Dentistry FAQ’s

Why should I go to the dentist regularly?

Going to the dentist regularly, even if you’re not having any troublesome dental symptoms, is important for maintaining your oral health. Advanced dental diseases can cause serious consequences for your smile, as severe as tooth and bone loss. Such issues often require more extensive treatment. However, when you see a dentist regularly for exams, you are much more likely to receive treatment before a cavity or gum disease or other oral diseases can cause significant damage. It’s also good to establish a relationship with a general dentist because if you do experience an urgent issue, that dentist is already familiar with your case and better prepared to treat you for it.

How often should I brush and floss?

We recommend that patients brush twice each day for two minutes each session. You should brush your teeth before eating breakfast in the morning, as brushing after eating can expose your teeth to extra wear from any acids left behind in the mouth. You should also brush your teeth before going to bed. Additionally, you should floss daily to disrupt plaque and calculus (tartar) formation along the gumline. You should also be sure to use proper technique when brushing and flossing to get the maximum benefit from these activities. Check in with your dentist or hygienist if you need a refresher on correct brushing and flossing technique.

How often should I have a dental cleaning?

Patients should have their teeth cleaned at least every six months to clear away any tartar and plaque buildup that has developed despite brushing and flossing. If you tend to accumulate plaque and tartar more quickly, your dentist may recommend that you schedule cleanings at shorter intervals.

Will a tooth extraction hurt?

A tooth extraction doesn’t have to be a painful experience for a patient. A local anesthetic is applied to the area, and the patient may also opt for nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation for increased comfort during the procedure if they wish. There may be some tenderness at the extraction site after the tooth is removed, but that can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Patients should also follow all post-extraction instructions closely in order to reduce their risk of discomfort.


Dr. James Ku DDS | Albuquerque NM Dentist

The Doctor James Ku, D.D.S.

James Ku, D.D.S., a University of Southern California (USC) School of Dentistry graduate, worked at the first New York hospital to receive patients on the morning of 9-11 where he treated patients in emergency and cosmetic facial repair. Dr. Ku was nominated Resident of the Year at his New York City hospital based dentistry program. He was a USC Clinical Faculty Instructor and a staff member of California based Hoag Hospital. Dr. Ku was one of the first USC Clinical Faculty Instructors to teach both Restorative Dentistry and Oral Surgery. The only USC dentist to graduate with formal training in fine arts and painting, Dr. Ku offers patients the benefit of esthetic artistic talent. Dr. Ku’s patients say they appreciate his caring nature, active sense of humor, and exceptional expertise.

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