Dental Exams & Cleanings

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Dental Exam

Dr. Atkins will perform a comprehensive dental exam at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, we will do the following, some with every visit, some at alternating appointments, depending on your frequency of visits, and your oral health. Our dental exams include:

  • Examination for tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Scrutinize  x-rays for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Visually check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums and feel for signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • 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.

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