Dental Exams & Cleanings

Stock image of a lady dentist working with her patient
A lady dental doctor and her assitant working with a patient

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist will review and may complete the following:
  • Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions. Types of x-rays include individual, panoramic and 3D Cone Beam CT scan.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Using a periodontal probe, we will check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, and bridges.
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) will include a dental exam and the following:


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Professional Dental Cleaning

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Close to half of adults over 30 and nearly 75% of adults over 65 have some form of periodontal disease. If periodontal disease is diagnosed during your exam, a different type of dental cleaning will be performed. Deep scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) allows access to the pockets of inflammation and bone loss. Each quadrant (one quarter of the mouth) will be anesthetized and special instruments are used to remove tarter from below the gum line and smooth root surfaces. This procedure helps stop the harmful effects of periodontal disease and keeps your mouth healthy.

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