During your initial dental visit, your dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam. In the course of regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist perform the following services:
Diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): These investigative procedures are essential tools for detection of cysts, tumors, decay, and bone loss. X-rays are also important in determining tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: This process entails checking the gums, tongue, throat tissues, lips, face, and neck for any symptoms of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation: your dentist and dental hygienist will check your gums and the bone around your teeth for indications of periodontal disease.
Watch for signs of tooth decay: through the use of special dental instruments, every tooth surface will be checked for signs of decay.
Careful examination of existing restorations: all current fillings, crowns, or other dental appliances will be carefully inspected for wear or damage.
Dental Prophylaxis (Professional dental cleanings) are services that are commonly performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. A standard cleaning appointment includes a dental exam and the following specialized services:
Removal of tartar (calculus): Calculus is nothing but hardened plaque that has remained on the tooth long enough to become firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus may form both above and below the gum line. It can be effectively removed only by utilizing special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is an almost invisible, sticky film that forms on the teeth. It is actually a growing colony, consisting of food debris, saliva and living bacteria. The bacteria generate toxins (poisons) that can cause inflammation of the gums. This inflammation is the first stage of periodontal disease!
Tooth polishing: The polishing process removes plaque and stains that are otherwise missed during regular tooth brushing and scaling processes.