Dental Exams — Professional Dental Cleaning
By Rajal Patel DDS — Orange, New Jersey Dentist
Do you want to have a lifetime of good dental health? Are you interested in preventing tooth decay and gum disease?
A comprehensive dental exam every 6 months is a great way to be proactive about your dental health so you can prevent painful and costly dental procedures.
How a Dental Exam Works
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist during your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will perform 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.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: 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, 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.