Dental Exams & Cleanings

Dental Exam

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 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: Check for signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is a mineral deposit that is firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus may form above and below the gum line and must 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 may inflame the gums.  Plaque and inflammation can play key roles in the development and progression of gum disease.
  • Teeth polishing and flossing: Remove stain, plaque, and debris that has not been removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

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