A professional and thorough cleaning is the basis for good oral health and the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. Melanie, our highly skilled and trained dental hygienist, takes her time to provide a thorough dental cleaning to each patient. Every professional dental cleaning includes the following:
- Removal of calculus or tartar. Calculus is hardened plaque that hardens onto the surface of the tooth over time. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky and almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a combination of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria can cause toxins that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease. See our section on gum disease for more information.
- Teeth polishing: With a gentle buffing polishing tool our skilled hygienist removes stain and plaque that is not removed during scaling or normal tooth brushing.
- A complete periodontal evaluation of scaling and root planing may also done on periodic basis to determine if gum disease may be present.
- X-rays are taken
After Melanie completes her cleaning and periodontal evaluation, Dr. Greaves completes his comprehensive dental exam. Every dental exam includes 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. Many instances of decay, especially between teeth and below the gum line can only be seen using x-ray technology.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the tongue, throat, face, neck, lips, 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.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, bridges and so forth.