Dental Exams & Cleanings

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. Why do I need to see the dentist for a comprehensive exam? We can only determine what type of cleaning a new or established patient (we have not seen for over 5 years) needs with a comprehensive examination of your teeth or gums. We will asses tooth structure and identify many other potential issues that may preclude a teeth cleaning. Also, the information we gain through your medical and dental histories along with the various assessments made along the route of learning about your oral and general health, leads to preventive and treatment planning that will address your individual needs.

Some of the things determined at your comprehensive exam are:

  • Do you have signs of Oral Cancer?
  • Do you have gum disease?
  • Are there signs of broken teeth or fillings, or do you have any cavities?
  • How current are your x-rays ?
  • What type of teeth cleaning do you need based on all of our information we have gathered?

At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will determine together the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic digital x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, cysts, tumors, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions. WHY X-RAYS? To see is to know, and we won’t guess about your health!
  • Oral cancer screening: During an oral cancer check, the hygienist will first remove any dentures or retainers you may have. They will then do a visual inspection of the face, lips, and mouth to check for any unusual lumps, bumps, or redness. The hygienist will feel the lymph nodes in your neck for any swelling as well as the tonsils to see if they are inflamed or display any redness or bumps. It is important to point out any oral pain, difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, sores, or discoloration that don’t resolve within about 2 weeks.

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