Everybody wants to have a dentist that they can trust with all of their dental health care needs. Some of the services dentists offer to patients include a full dental exam, gum disease treatment, oral health assessment, dental cleanings, and more. During your initial consultation, dentist will perform a thorough exam on you to determine the status of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Any issues that are found during your dental exam will be treated so that you can have a healthy mouth once again.
The Different Types of Dental Exams
Most people get a dental exam at the same time they have their teeth cleaned so they may not realize that these are actually two distinct services provided by your dentist. At your initial visit, your dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam. Your regular checkup exams, will include the following:
Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs)
These are essential for the detection of tumors, decay, bone loss, and cysts. X-rays may also help to determine both tooth and root positions.
dentists usually recommend x-rays once a year to identify and treat cavities and gum disease long before they put your oral health at risk. In some cases, dentists may take additional x-rays as necessary to monitor ongoing conditions or plan treatment.
dentists utilize state-of-the-art digital x-rays, which allow for greater visualization of problems. Digital x-rays actually reduce the amount of radiation by 90 percent as compared to traditional x-rays. As you can see, dental x-rays are one of most valuable diagnostic tools. So not only do they help dentists see more, but dental x-rays also benefit you because they reduce your radiation exposure.
Oral cancer screening
This checks the neck, throat, face, lips, gums, and tongue for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation
This checks the bone around the teeth as well as the gums for any signs of periodontal disease.
Examination of tooth decay
With the use of special dental instruments, this checks all tooth surfaces for decay.
Examination of existing restorations
This is the evaluation of current fillings, crowns, etc.
Why Having Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned Regularly Is Important?
With all the other things you have going on in your life, dental exams and cleanings may, unfortunately, drop to the bottom of your “to-do” list. If you are not experiencing obvious signs of dental problems, it may not seem like a big deal to put off these essential treatments.
The problem is that tooth decay and gum disease can do significant damage before you are even aware that they are present. This is the reason why dental professionals have always advocated dental visits twice a year, spaced six months apart.
Gum disease prevention
Gum disease is infection of tissues surrounding your teeth, and one of the major causes of bone loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and good home care are main factors in preventing gum disease as well as clean fresh breath.
Early Oral Cancer Detection
Early diagnosis of oral cancer is very important in improving of the prognosis of cancer. When you have dental cleanings, you are also screened for oral cancer.
The rise of oral cancers caused by the HPV virus and smoking has led to an increased need for frequently oral cancer screenings. Oral cancer can be fatal if it is not caught early enough. The disease does not show any symptoms in its earliest stages. This means that once symptoms have set in the cancer has most likely already spread to other areas of your body. Fortunately, oral cancer can be easily treated if it is caught early enough. During your first dental exam you will receive a thorough oral cancer screening. This screening is recommended for patients who are age 18 or older. You should continue to receive these screenings at your annual examination.
Create a beautiful, healthy smile
Beauty. Satisfaction. Confidence. When you take the initiative to perfect your smile, your social life improves, as well as potential career opportunities.
Maintaining positive oral health
Consistency, routine, and comparisons of previous results, all will keep you guided on the right track to ultimate oral health. The early stages of problems which may be detected will lead to less expensive options for treatment and a better prognosis.
Establishing good overall health
There is a direct correlation between poor oral health and chronic inflammatory diseases such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other problems such as: stroke, premature and low birth weight. Research and expert experience both backs up this claim. Regular dental cleanings will help to keep you teeth and gums healthy, which will also help with management of these other problems.
Professional Dental Cleaning procedures
A professional dental cleaning, or dental prophylaxis, is usually performed by a registered dental hygienist. If you a history or oral health issues or a specific problem the day you come visit us, then you may receive treatments beyond what’s listed. However, a typical dental cleaning includes:
Removal of calculus (tartar)
Calculus is plaque on the tooth that hardens after a period of time and attaches to the tooth surface. With the use of special dental instruments, calculus may be removed from above and below the gum line. Brushing and flossing at home removes plaque. Only authoritative dental instruments can remove calculus.
Removal of plaque
Plaque is a sticky, nearly invisible, film that forms on the teeth. It is a combination of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce a toxin, or poison, which when released inflame the gums. The inflammation that results from plaque is the start of periodontal disease.
Removal of all stains and plaque is not always complete during the brushing and scaling process. After the calculus is removed, the visible crowns of your teeth may be polished to remove any other stubborn plaque and surface stains. Traditionally, but not affirmatively, an abrasive substance may be applied to the teeth with a small rotating rubber cup or brush. This helps to scrub away excess stains. The polishing substance will feel gritty in your mouth. You will be given chances to rinse and leave feeling refreshed!
Fluoride and Dental Sealants Protect Your Teeth
Since dentists want to help you protect your oral health all throughout the year, dentists may recommend supplemental fluoride to help protect and strengthen tooth enamel.
Another way dentists can help prevent cavities is by applying protective dental sealants to teeth like molars that have rough, uneven surfaces. Sealants applied to these teeth create a smooth surface to help seal out cavity-causing bacteria and make them easier to keep clean.
Both dental cleanings and dental exams
Hopefully, now you understand that the purpose of a dental cleaning is to clean, the team while an exam is there to diagnosis any issues you have. When you visit dentists , he/she can customize your visit to your exact needs. Work with dental office that takes patient’s needs and concerns seriously.
If your dentist finds any problems, he or she will suggest a customized treatment plan and your best available options to solve the issue. Oftentimes, this may include a referral to a specialist (such as a periodontist or orthodontist). You also may need further tests for diagnosis. You may have to return to the dentist for a filling or more intensive periodontal treatment.