At your first visit a complete dental exam will be done by Dr Young. For your check-up visits, the dentist and hygienist will complete the following procedures:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Imperative to detect decay and bone loss. X-rays can also help in determining tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Examine face, neck, tongue, lips, tissues,throat and gums for indications of oral cancer.
- Gum disease assessment: Inspect the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination for tooth decay: Every tooth surface must be scrutinized for decay.
- Evaluation of existing restorations: Examine existing fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings are generally completed by our Registered Dental Hygienist. Your cleaning visit will consist of a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus, or tartar, forms above and below the gum line. It is actually hardened plaque left on the teeth for quite awhile and is firmly affixed to the tooth surface.
- Elimination of plaque: Plaque is a thriving colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva that is almost invisible. Toxins are produced from the bacteria which inflame the gums – this is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Stain and plaque removal of stain and plaque that can not otherwise be removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Fluoride is the most efficient agent accessible today to assist in preventing tooth decay. As a mineral naturally present in almost all foods and water supplies, its benefits have been well known for more than 50 years and thus have been supported by numerous health and professional organizations.
Fluoride works in two ways:
Topical fluoride makes the teeth more resistant to decay by strengthening them. This occurs once they have erupted by permeating into the outer surface of the tooth enamel. Dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels use topical fluoride. Dentists and dental hygienists usually advise that children receive a professional application of fluoride two times a year during their regular dental check-ups.
Systemic fluoride help strengthen teeth that have erupted as well as those developing under the gums. Systemic fluoride is in most foods and community water supplies. It can also be prescribed by your dentist or physician as a supplement in drop or gel form. Fluoride drops are usually suggested for infants, while tablets are best suited for children through the teen years. It is extremely important to watch closely the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. Too much fluoride while the teeth are developing may cause a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth).
Receiving fluoride from food and water is sometimes not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may suggest using home and/or professional fluoride treatments for these reasons:
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
- Fair or poor dental hygiene habits.
- Recurring sugar and carbohydrate intake.
- Scarce exposure to fluorides.
- Inadequate saliva flow because of medical conditions, treatments or medications.
- History of dental decay.
Keep in mind, fluoride alone does not prevent tooth decay! It is extremely important to brush at the very least twice a day, floss on a regular basis, eat balanced meals, minimize sugary snacks, and see your dentist regularly.
Oral Cancer Screenings
While completing a dental exam, the doctor will examine your neck and oral tissues. Examinations for early changes in oral tissue can assist in detecting cancer at a phase when it can be more successfully treated.
Smoking, especially in combination with heavy alcohol consumption (30 drinks a week or more), is a primary risk factor for oral cancer. This deadly combination is estimated to be the most common trigger in approximately 75 percent of oral cancers discovered in the United States. Other lifestyle and environmental risk factors also may raise your chances of developing oral cancer.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure whereby the periodontist removes plaque and tartar from under the gum line. Plaque and tartar form pockets and must be removed, because the bacterial toxins make it easier for bacteria to gain a foothold.
Our goal for our patients is for them to have an amazing, healthy smile that will last them a lifetime. Home care will play an extremely important role in whether you reach that goal. That home care begins by eating a balanced diet, cutting out the number of snacks you consume and using the many dental aides to control plaque and bacteria that can develop into dental disease.
Tooth brushing – Brushing at least twice a day to clean the inside of the front teeth.
- Brush your tongue to freshen breath and remove bacteria.
We recommend electric toothbrushes. They are simple to use and remove plaque more effective. Let the toothbrush do its job. Just place the bristles on your teeth and gums, brushing several teeth at a time. .
Flossing – Daily flossing is the optimal way to keep your mouth clean between teeth and under the gum line. It helps clean these spaces and disrupts plaque from building up, which will prevent damage to gums, teeth, and bone.
- Use 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of floss and wrap around your middle fingers. Leave approximately 2 inches (5cm) between the hands.
- Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, very gently insert it in between your teeth like a sawing motion.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape. Go around each tooth and under the gum line.Use the floss gently up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
If it is difficult for you to use floss, floss holders are available.
Rinsing – Rinsing after brushing and meals should be a natural part of your routine. Talk with your dentist or hygienist if you are using an over-the-counter rinsing product to see if it is an appropriate one for you.
Other dental aids may by suggested by your dentist’s office such as tongue cleaners, fluoride rinses, interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators and so forth which can all be extremely helpful in your dental heath home care.