Dental Exams & Cleanings
A thorough examination gives us an opportunity to meet you, discuss your treatment goals, and get a feel for your needs. This also gives you a chance to meet the doctor, ask any questions about your oral health, and get a feel for our office.
We will take any x-rays that are needed, especially if you have any specific concerns. If you have x-rays from a previous office, we would be happy to receive those and evaluate them. We then check the area around the head and neck, including inside the mouth, and look for anything unusual, like tumors or bumps that shouldn’t be there. A thorough evaluation of the gums comes next, determining the need for periodontal therapy. A recommendation is made accordingly, either for cleaning, deep cleaning, or referral to a periodontist. Finally, we check the teeth and look for any cavities, evaluate occlusion, and come up with a plan for keeping your mouth healthy long after we’ve completed treatment.
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by our Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.