A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Andow at your initial dental visit and at regular check-up appointments by Dr. Andow and your dental hygienist. Dental exams 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 or impossible to repair. Your exam will include the following:
- Gum disease evaluation
- Oral cancer screening
- Visual examination for tooth decay
- Evaluation of your existing restorations
- Bite evaluation: Check your bite for wear on the teeth and receding gums and check your jaw movements for proper jaw function.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss that can't be seen by the naked eye.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by our Registered Dental Hygienists and form the foundation for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. In a professional dental cleaning, your hygienist will:
- Polish and remove stains from your teeth
- Remove plaque from your teeth: 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) and acids that inflame the gums and attack the teeth. This is what leads to periodontal disease and cavities.
- 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 by your dental hygienist.