New patients receive a comprehensive examination which includes a screening for oral cancer, gum and bone disease, blood pressure, and systemic disorders. A routine oral exam is performed on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since the previous visit.
Your gum tissue is measured with a fine instrument ruler to calibrate in millimeters pocket depth between the tooth and the connective gum tissue around the tooth. Pocket depths more than 4 millimeters could indicate disease and infection. The deeper the pocket, the greater the extent plaque bacteria collects and infection in gum disease develop.
X-rays are taken as needed.
Tooth scaling and root planing occur as needed.
Routine cleanings also include a professional polishing (Prophy) that removes only the soft sticky plaque that is above the gum line.
It is recommended to have a full set of dental x-rays taken once a year during a regular dental checkup. Most dental insurance plans will cover the cost of x-rays taken once a year and should not be skipped out on. Dental x-rays will expose any problems that might be currently present and can be used to prevent problems that may occur in the near future. Tooth roots, jaw bone and sinuses are all visible with a quick x-ray which allows us to detect problems with the bone surrounding teeth and even allow us to see teeth that have not erupted such as permanent teeth in children or wisdom teeth in adults.
Safe, Digital X-rays
We use modern digital x-rays that use an extremely low level of radiation to create an x-ray. Digital x-rays also eliminate x-ray films from having to be developed which also minimizes the time you spend in our dental chair.
Oral Cancer Screening
Nobody wants to hear that they may have oral cancer. Although it can be fatal, it is easier to treat the earlier it is caught. For this reason, we are proud to assist our patients with an oral cancer screening. We want to help our patients survive this often fatal disease.
Oral cancer will typically show up as white or red patches or lesions inside of your mouth. You may even notice the lesions on your tongue or on the floor of your mouth. Many people experience a hard time swallowing, bleeding in the mouth, or even swelling in your face or neck.
Since this specific cancer can look like a burn inside of your mouth, dentists will typically wait to see if it goes away. If not, we will perform a biopsy so that we can receive a proper diagnosis. In order to perform an oral cancer screening, we may use sedation or general anesthesia. This allows us to remove a sample of the lesion so that the pathologist is able to look at it under a microscope and come up with a diagnosis.
We understand that this can be a scary and stressful time. However, we promise to be there for you every step of the way. If you ever need anyone to talk to, we are here for you. If you simply have questions, we will be happy to answer them.
If your results come back positive, the best option will be surgery, if we are able to localize and remove the lesion. If not, we may recommend a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
Protect Your Teeth With Fluoride
For children between the ages of 6 and 16, we will generally incorporate a fluoride treatment to help strengthen tooth enamel that can prevent cavities. Fluoride treatments are also beneficial for adults.
Request an appointment and talk to us more about fluoride treatments and see if your teeth can benefit from fluoride.
Removing Plaque & Tartar With A Teeth Cleaning
A biannual dental cleaning and examination can help to protect you from tooth decay, gum disease, and serious health conditions such as oral cancer. During your visit, our team can thoroughly clean your teeth, removing plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and gums. In addition, we can evaluate your smile, identifying signs of periodontal disease or oral cancer in their earliest stages to preserve your longterm well being. By maintaining your regular checkups, we can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile and save you from costly restorative treatments in the future.
During your checkup, your hygienist can use a small dental mirror and scaler to clean the surface of your teeth and gum line.
Rough tooth surfaces are exactly what plaque loves to grab hold of and start hardening into harmful tartar. After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, we will use a special tooth polishing tool and a flavored polishing compound to polish your pearly whites. Tooth polishing effectively smooths tooth surfaces making it difficult for plaque to grab on to. After tooth polishing, you will be able to tell a difference with how smooth your teeth feel, as well as visibly see that they're looking their best.