What to expect at your dental visit.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed which includes:
- Examination of diagnostic radiographs (x-rays). These digital images are essential for detection of decay (cavities), root positions, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.
- Oral cancer screening: Analysis of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any atypical signs that could indicate a concern.
- Gum disease evaluation: Measurements of the gum tissue levels and bone support around the teeth.
- All tooth surfaces will be checked for “sticky spots”, color changes, or potential decay areas with special dental instruments. As well as checking the status of existing restorations (fillings) in the teeth.
A professional dental cleaning is recommend every 6 months unless there is a periodontal diagnosis that would benefit from having shorter recalls to help maintain your oral health.
- Removal of calculus (tarter). Calculus is hardened plaque that is firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus can form above and below the gumline. If it’s not removed it will contribute to promoting bone loss around your teeth.
- Removal of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth. It’s a growing colony of bacteria, food debris, and saliva. This bacteria inflames the gums. This inflammation is what can cause bleeding gums.
- Teeth polishing by a professional, helps remove stains that do not get removed from your own home dental care.
We like to start seeing patients around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. This may consist of just a chair ride. It all depends on the child. We encourage parents to bring in their young children to their cleaning appointment so they can watch. It also works good for them to watch an older sibling if they have one. We will definitely see your child much earlier if you have concerns.
Pediatric home care should start as soon as your child has a tooth. Be sure to start brushing at the first sign of teeth. Using a soft wet washcloth can work for a baby to wipe off the tooth or you can use a soft baby toothbrush. Decay can start quicker in baby teeth because the enamel layer (the outer layer of the tooth) is thinner than an adult tooth. Please ask us if you have any questions about your child’s dental needs.