Dental examinations help to diagnose disease before it becomes hazardous to your health. In addition, regular examinations can save you money by alleviating problems while they are small and before they become expensive to repair, or in some cases, impossible to repair. Your dental examinations generally include the following:
- Oral cancer screening.
- Evaluation of growth and development.
- Orthodontic needs assessment.
- Gum disease evaluation.
- Visual examination of tooth decay.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays to see cysts, tumors, invisible decay and other problems that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
- Evaluation of status of current restorations (fillings and others).
We cannot express enough how important it is to see your dentist regularly. Remember, preventing disease is always better than treating disease.
Professional cleanings (dental prophylaxis) form the foundation for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. In a professional cleaning, your child’s dental team will:
- Remove plaque from the teeth — plaque is a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva and bacteria. Plaque sticks to teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease.
- Remove calculus (tarter) above the gum line — calculus is plaque that has hardened on the tooth surface and is difficult to remove. (Calculus below the gum line indicates gum disease and requires a different procedure to remove it.)
- Polish and remove stains from teeth.
We are pleased to provide patients with the latest in advanced, digital radiograph.
How do Radiographs Help?
Dental x-rays or radiographs are very important. They allow the dentist to see things about your oral health that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These items include cysts (sacks of fluid that form on the roots of teeth), cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, invisible decay that occurs between teeth, and the location of teeth that haven’t grown all the way in. By using an x-ray to diagnose these problems, we can help save you money in the long run from surgeries or other treatments that might become necessary if we didn’t find the problem. In some cases, where dental x-rays show the location of tumorous growths, x-rays can be responsible for saving your life.
Advantages of Digital Radiography
Digital x-rays have many advantages when compared with old fashioned film-based machines, including:
- Reduced radiation exposure (up to 90% less than traditional systems)
- Enhanced ability to refine image quality
- Instant viewing (no waiting for films to develop)
- Environmentally friendly (no toxic chemicals) Best of all, it’s easy for you to see what the doctor sees. Your digital x-ray can be seen on a computer screen located next to your dental chair. This helps you understand your needs and make an informed choice about any treatment.
Adequate home care is imperative if you want to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile and prevent costly dental treatment in the future. The goal of home care is to regularly remove the sticky film of bacteria called plaque from your teeth.
Brush your teeth twice daily using a soft tooth brush. Gently vibrate the brush in a circular fashion at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. Then gently vibrate the brush back and forth on each tooth surface until you have effectively cleaned the entire mouth. You should also brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that causes bad breath. You can use any soft bristled, ADA approved tooth brush. We also recommend the use of modern electric tooth brushes such as Sonicare and Braun. Your child should brush for approximately two minutes to effectively remove plaque that has formed on their teeth. Parents should monitor their child’s brushing until the age of six. Your child’s hygiene will be evaluated at his/her examination and effectiveness discussed.
Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth that you can’t reach with regular brushing. Take 12″ to 18″ of dental floss and wrap it around the middle finger of each hand. Pull the floss tightly, and then use your thumb and forefingers to slide the floss gently between each set of teeth. Curve the floss around each tooth and move the floss up and down along the tooth, going as low as you can comfortably get under the gum line. Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth until you have flossed the entire mouth. Flossing aids are available to assist children with holding the floss.
You may occasionally use a mouthwash to rinse. Children may benefit from the use of ACT fluoride rinse, to help prevent cavities from forming in between the teeth. It is not recommended for children to use alcohol based mouth rinses.