Dental Exams and Cleanings
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 dental x-rays (radiographs): Key detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss, X-ray exams also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Here, the dentist will check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Checking the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces are checked with special dental instruments for decay.
- Examination of existing restorations: Checking all prior work – fillings, crowns, etc.
- Examination of appliances: night guards, bleaching trays, sleep apnea devices, and cleaning of dentures.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings are usually performed by a Registered Dental Hygienist and includes a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of tartar: Tartar is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms both above and below the gum line, but is only removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. This is actually a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. Bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. Such inflammation is the start of gum disease!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during regular tooth brushing.