When you come in to our office for a preventative exam, or routine check-up, we look for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or any other potential problems that may require treatment.
Your Dentist and Hygienist
Your hygienist will begin your appointment with a thorough cleaning of your teeth, and will also take x-rays once per year. When your mouth is clean, and x-ray results are available, the dentist will come in to check over your mouth and review any issues.
Cleaning Your Teeth
Prophylaxis, or cleaning your teeth, is a process that removes any build-up of plaque or tartar (calculus). After deposits have been removed, your hygienist will polish your teeth with a gentle abrasive polish that removes stains and any plaque remainders.
X-Rays, or radiographs, of your teeth may be taken during your visit. We receive an image that can be viewed during your visit. Your dentist will be able to detect decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. Your dentist can also determine tooth and root positions by viewing x-rays.
Oral Cancer Screening
The dentist will check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums for any signs or oral cancer. View more information about Oral Cancer by selecting from the menu on the left.
Gum Disease Evaluation
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. We check for any signs of gum disease during each preventative exam.
Tooth Decay Evaluation
All surfaces of the teeth, seen visually and also on the x-ray, are examined for signs of decay. Issues can be detected and addressed before serious problems develop.
Examination of Restorations
All current fillings, crowns, and other dental work are examined to determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth. It is almost invisible, but is actually a growing colony of living bacteria that feeds on food debris and saliva. If bacteria is not removed, it produces toxins that inflame the gums and can be the start of periodontal (gum) disease.
What is calculus, or tartar?
Calculus is another name for tartar. Is is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth long enough to firmly bond onto the surface. It can form above and below the gum line, and must be removed with specialized dental instruments that can scrape off the tartar without damaging the tooth.