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Dental Exams & Cleanings

 
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Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • 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.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Recent medical research has shown that periodontal (gum) disease significantly increases risk of heart attack, coronary artery disease, negative consequences on pregnancy and newborns, and other serious medical conditions.  Our office is concerned about the overall health of our patients, not just their dental needs.  In view of these medical implications we are even more motivated towards providing the treatment and preventive skills necessary to maintain your good oral health.

 

Adult and young adult dental prophylaxis treatments are performed in our office by Registered Dental Hygienists.  These professionals have completed a rigorous specialty program and, as a result, are highly trained.  They are licensed and certified specialists in the field of dental hygiene maintaining their diagnostic and clinical skills by regularly attending continuing education seminars.

 

The periodontal condition of your mouth (gums and bone) determines the foundation of your oral health.  Appropriate treatment will be recommended based on the professional evaluation of your gum tissues during your hygiene visit.  Periodontal disease progresses as the space between the tooth and gums (pocket or sulcus) becomes filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation and damage to the surrounding tissues.  When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they cause destruction of the fibers that support and connect the gums with the teeth and eventually destroy the bone that supports the teeth.

Left untreated, this condition will lead to loosening and ultimately the loss of otherwise healthy teeth.

 

Prophylaxis (D1110): If the disease is caught in the early stages (gingivitis) and no permanent damage has been done, then one to two regular annual cleanings will probably be recommended.  You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits. Some patients form tartar faster than others, so a more frequent recall schedule may be recommended.

 

If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, then special periodontal cleanings, called Debridement and/or Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning), will be recommended. To read mor about these procedures please refer to the Section on Periodontal Treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

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