Comprehensive oral examination:
At your initial visit, your dentist will perform a complete evaluation of your mouth. The following components are involved in the examination:
- 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: Your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums are examined for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: The gums and bone around the teeth are checked for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: We check all tooth surfaces for decay.
- Examination of existing restorations: We examine the condition of existing fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning:
During your cleaning the dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and calculus (tartar) that stick to your teeth above and below your gums. Plaque is a sticky film made of food particles, bacteria and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to inflammation of your gums, known as gingivitis. Calculus (tartar) is hardened plaque that can only be removed with special instruments by a professional. Chronic accumulation of calculus can lead to periodontal disease, known as periodontitis. Loosening and loss of teeth can result from untreated periodontitis.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent tooth decay, along with proper brushing and flossing. It is added to toothpaste, mouth rinse and drinking water. The American Dental Association recommends that children have a professional application of fluoride twice per year.
A sealant is a thin white or tooth color resin that the dentist or dental assistant applies over the chewing surface of molars and premolars. These teeth have deep grooves that are hard to clean. Sealants help prevent cavity formation by sealing off the deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.