A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist, Dr. Kevin Priest, Dr. Evan MacDonald or Dr. Elsie Hinz at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and one of our hygienists (Ginger, Tara or Pam) will perform the following:
- Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of tooth decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Here we check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any abnormalities that could suggest oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: During this portion of your exam, we check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay (cavities) with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: This involves checking all the previous dental work that has been completed. We want to ensure that the work done outside and inside our office remains healthy.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by our Registered Dental Hygienists (Ginger, Tara, Pam, or Kathy). Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed by a hygienist or dentist.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, sometimes invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a living and growing group of bacteria from food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums and acids that aid in the destruction of teeth. If this plaque is not removed in can start the progression of periodontal disease or tooth decay (cavities).
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.