Preventive Dentistry Exams and Procedures
In addition to routine examinations and cleanings, your dental needs may occasionally include repairing one or more damaged teeth, treating tooth infection and/or gum disease, or enhancing your smile’s overall appearance.
During your routine examinations, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and oral tissues to diagnose existing concerns (if any). During your consultation, we will carefully explain the threat to your dental health using highly-detailed digital images, and then work closely with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
During a routine dental examination, your dentist will perform a visual inspection aided by a tiny, digital intraoral camera to expose early, hard-to-detect signs of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth damage, and more. The camera and other diagnostic technology will reveal signs that might not be noticeable without close inspection. When necessary, digital X-rays can provide a more comprehensive view of your oral structures so your dentist can gauge the extent of tooth damage or infection, or the alignment of your teeth and jaws.
Oral Cancer Screenings
As part of a comprehensive examination your dentist will also conduct a thorough screening to detect lesions, growths, ulcers, sores, and other tissue abnormalities that might warn of oral cancer. Catching oral cancer and administering early treatment significantly improves the chances of successful treatment, making oral cancer screenings one of the more important aspects of your regular dental checkups.
Regular dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, appointments involve carefully cleaning away plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from your teeth and along your gum line. Routine dental cleanings reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease, which develop when the bacteria in plaque are allowed to multiply and attack your teeth and gums. On average, patients should schedule regular dental cleanings at least once every six months, or as often as the dentist recommends.
Scaling and Root Planing (Perio Cleaning)
Gingivitis is the infection in your gum tissues that precedes periodontal disease, and results from excessive oral bacteria accumulating along your gum line. Scaling and root planing describes accessing your roots under your gums to remove plaque and tartar, then smoothing and polishing the root surfaces. Unlike a dental cleaning, periodontal cleaning may involve more than one visit to complete, though we make the process easier and more comfortable through the use of an ultrasonic scaler. Depending on how severely your gums are infected, you may also need to schedule regular periodontal maintenance visits to keep the disease under control.
Bruxism is the clinical name for constant, unconscious teeth-grinding. While it can occur often during the day, many patients experience the worst of bruxism while they sleep at night – frequently referred to as nighttime bruxism. You might notice your condition by its common symptoms, such as recurring tooth sensitivity, noticeable tooth wear, or damage to one or more of your teeth. In many cases, we can treat bruxism by custom-designing an oral appliance to protect teeth from grinding against each other at night.
Occlusal adjustment, or bite adjustment, is the process of optimizing how well your upper and lower teeth fit together when you bite down. The minor alterations to your chewing surfaces will help your teeth meet each other evenly to avoid problems resulting from bite misalignment, such as bruxism, jaw dysfunctions, trouble biting and chewing, and increasing discomfort. If your bite seems uncomfortable because your teeth do not meet properly, then occlusal adjustment may be the best option for restoring harmony to your bite.