New patients receive a comprehensive examination which includes a screening for oral cancer, gum and bone disease, blood pressure, and systemic disorders. A routine oral exam is performed on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since the previous visit.
Your gum tissue is measured with a fine instrument ruler to calibrate in millimeters pocket depth between the tooth and the connective gum tissue around the tooth. Pocket depths more than 4 millimeters could indicate disease and infection. The deeper the pocket, the greater the extent plaque bacteria collects and infection in gum disease develop.
X-rays are taken as needed.
Tooth scaling and root planing occur as needed.
Routine cleanings also include a professional polishing (Prophy) that removes only the soft sticky plaque that is above the gum line.
Our office uses an intra-oral exam in order to allow the patient to see the what the doctor sees at the same time. This allows the patient to understand the issues the doctor is seeing and helps the doctor in discussing treatment plans.
The Diagnodent is the latest in cavity detection. The Diagnodent can detect the smallest cavities that even the trained eye of your dentist can miss, even while using magnification loupes! The earlier the cavity can be detected, the sooner it can be removed and chances are, there will be minor, if any, pain involved.
The VELscope is an FDA approved device that aides in the early detection of oral cancer. This is a pain-free, non-invasive procedure where a safe blue light is emitted into the patient's mouth. The dentist is able to immediately view different fluorescence responses to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue.
Discovering soft tissue abnormalities is particularly important in the fight against oral cancer. Because the VELscope assists in early detection, cancer can be detected before it has time to spread, potentially saving lives through less invasive, more effective treatment.
We recommend yearly screenings for adults, especially denture wearers and smokers.
Our office uses the latest in digital x-ray technology. Digital x-rays offer a detailed image of your entire mouth and also offer up to 80% less radiation than traditional film x-rays.
X-rays play an invaluable role in the diagnosis of dental problems, as well as provide a clear picture for a dentist to accurately diagnose and provide the necessary treatment.
We place a small sensor in your mouth. The sensor is connected to a computer by a thin wire. Next, an x-ray beam is sent through your teeth and into the sensor, which records the image of your teeth and sends it to the computer. The sensor can then be repositioned to image other sections of your teeth.
The digital dental x-ray system is more sensitive than dental x-ray film systems, so your exposure to x-rays is cut by as much as 90 percent. The large and color-enhanced images let you see what your dentist sees, so it's easier for you to understand how your dentist will treat your teeth. Your dental checkups take less time, and it's fun to watch this system work! Most patients are amazed.
Digital Panoramic X-Rays
Panoramic x-rays offer patients a complete detailed image of the entire mouth including the teeth, jaw (upper and lower), sinuses, and TMJ.
It provides a complete picture on how everything looks and relates to each other.
The i-CAT 3-D dental scan system is well in advance of any x-ray system. The i-CAT provides 3-D images of the teeth, jaw, sinuses and skull structure in 1/20th of a second with significantly less radiation than a medical CT scan.
The 3-D scans from the i-CAT provide anatomically accurate data and surgical predictability for:
- Implant placement
- TMJ analysis
- Airway assessments
- Orthognathic surgery
Tartar is plaque that has had time to harden and is that white (sometimes yellow) substance found at the base of the tooth just above the gumline. Tartar is usually not removed with standard brushing and flossing and usually requires coming in to see us for proper and thorough removal.
Tooth scaling removes plaque and hard crusty calculus deposits, also known as tartar. Both of which are loaded with bacteria.
Sub-gingival tooth scaling is necessary when plaque and tartar are detected below the gum line.
Sometimes after a tooth scaling, the roots of a tooth must be planed in order to create a smooth surface for the gum tissue to re-attach to. In addition to the planing, your dentist may also prescribe medication in order to control infection and pain.
Rough tooth surfaces are exactly what plaque loves to grab hold of and start hardening into harmful tartar. After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, we will use a special tooth polishing tool and a flavored polishing compound to polish your pearly whites. Tooth polishing effectively smooths tooth surfaces making it difficult for plaque to grab on to. After tooth polishing, you will be able to tell a difference with how smooth your teeth feel, as well as visibly see that they're looking their best.
Protect Your Teeth With Fluoride
For children between the ages of 6 and 16, we will generally incorporate a fluoride treatment to help strengthen tooth enamel that can prevent cavities. Fluoride treatments are also beneficial for adults.
Request and appointment and talk to us more about fluoride treatments and see if your teeth can benefit from fluoride. To learn more about fluoride, click here.