Exams & Cleaning
Our office believes in the importance of preventive dentistry. Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy, and prevent disease, decay, enamel wear and more. Along with daily brushing and flossing, receiving your routine dental cleaning is one of the easiest ways to keep your teeth healthy. At your visit, we will complete a comprehensive dental exam, check your teeth and gums, screen for oral cancer, and clean your teeth.
We offer oral cancer screenings with each visit because early detection is key to remaining healthy. Your overall health and wellness are important to us in addition to your oral hygiene. The oral cancer screening consists of an examination of the oral cavity, tongue, and teeth. This is to detect for cancerous or pre-cancerous signs and symptoms. After the visual exam, the hygienist or dentist will feel the tissues of your throat and mouth, and check for abnormalities. Common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red and white spots or sores in the mouth
- A sore that bleeds easily or will not heal
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot in the mouth
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw
Avoiding tobacco products and limiting alcohol consumption are important ways to prevent oral cancer. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment, so it is important you are screened regularly.
At your first visit, a comprehensive dental exam will be performed. During regular follow-up exams, the hygienist and dentist will:
- Examine diagnostic x-rays to determine tooth and root positions, and detect decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss
- Check the gums and bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease
- Check tooth surfaces for decay, as well as check fillings, veneers, crowns, etc.
Deep scaling involves removing excessive plaque and calculus on the teeth by using a manual scaling instrument, or an ultrasonic tool, sometimes with anesthesia. This is not always necessary; it is offered as a procedure for those in need. Combined with daily brushing and flossing, scaling is effective in treating gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.