On your first visit, we will perform a comprehensive dental exam.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs)
- Oral Cancer screening
- Gum disease evaluation
- Examination of tooth decay
- Examination of existing restorations
Dental Prophylaxis (Cleaning)
Your appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of tartar: Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Removal of stains: Coffee, tea, tobacco and other common stains are removed.
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling. We can use polishing paste or the new Prophyjet polishing system.
Plaque that is not removed from your teeth within 24 hours can to turn into tartar. Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.
Once your treatment has been completed, we will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings and check-ups. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!
Digital radiography is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems more easily. Digital x-rays reduce radiation compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years. We recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.