Prevention, Cleanings, & Exams
Regular cleanings and check-ups play an important role in maintaining one's oral health and preventing associated coronary artery disease (CAD). We follow the ADA guidelines of providing these services on a six-months basis, or more frequently specific to as the patient's condition or needs are warranted. Scheduling regular visits and exercising proper home care is essential in keeping your smile a healthy one.
While you can expect the dentist to perform a comprehensive dental exam at your initial visit, at regular periodic exams you can expect the dentist and hygienist to include the following:
Examination of Diagnostic X-rays:
In addition to helping to determine tooth and root positions, x-rays are essential for the detection of decay, tumors, cysts and bone loss.
Evaluation of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth to determine whether signs of periodontal disease are apparent.
Examination of Tooth Decay:
Clinical evaluation of all tooth surfaces for decay, fractures, and abnormalities by employing special dental instruments and/or Diagnostic Laser.
Examination of Existing Restorations:
Evaluation of all existing fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.
Oral Cancer Screening:
Inspection of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat tissues and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Dental Cleaning (Prophylaxis):
Professional dental cleanings are customarily performed by our Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). In addition to your dental exam, your cleaning appointment will include the following:
Removal of Plaque:
Plaque is a sticky, nearly invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food, debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums and also yield lactic acid which causes dental caries (cavities).
Removal of Calculus (Tartar):
Calculus is a mineralized plaque that has been left on the tooth and has firmly attached itself to the tooth's surface over time. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Dental Diagnostic X-rays:
Dental X-rays (also known as radiographs) are extremely important diagnostic tools that provide valuable supplemental information to that which is not indicated by visual examination. Different types of intra-oral X-rays, including bitewing and periapical X-rays, reveal various aspects of the teeth in greater detail, which help to support the dentist's diagnostic evaluation. Such X-rays will commonly reveal early decay, abscesses and bone loss from gum disease. Extra-oral X-rays, such as a panoramic film, provides a bigger picture and aids in the diagnosis of bone development, tooth position, TMJ jaw conditions, early detection of tumors and an overall broader view of the head and neck. A panoramic X-ray can also reveal calcification within the carotid artery that may indicate the potential for stroke.