Few things in life pay better dividends than consistent oral preventative care. In addition to regular brushing and flossing we strongly recommend scheduling routine exams and cleanings. The early stages of many oral problems present no symptoms but such monitoring allows us to catch these problems early, when they’re most easily and affordably treatable.
Your annual dental exam should include:
Conscientious brushing and flossing are critical to oral health but they cannot prevent plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) or tarter (minerals from saliva that get combined with plaque and harden) from building up on your teeth which in turn causes bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
A bi-annual cleaning by our Dental Hygienist will remove plaque and tarter, greatly improving ongoing oral health throughout your life.
Dental X-Rays uncover tooth decay, reveal abscesses, cysts or tumors; locate pockets of tarter or plaque; show the condition of fillings, crowns, root canals and bridges; and detect bone loss due to periodontal (gum) disease. They can also reveal impacted or extra teeth and can help determine whether there is enough bone for a possible implant.
Dental X-Rays are absolutely critical to the detection of problems in their earliest stages. The amount of radiation used in dental X-rays is so minimal that we have no hesitation in scheduling full-mouth X-Rays on your first visit, and every 3-5 years thereafter. We will also do X-Rays of your back-teeth once a year, unless you have a high decay rate. (This is the protocol recommended by the American Dental Association.)
Tooth decay very commonly develops in the indentations on the tops of your back teeth (molars and premolars). These small depressions capture plaque and are very hard to keep clean, setting the stage for cavities.
Sealants are a fine plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surface of back teeth (and other pits and fissures) which hardens into a long-lasting protective shell. Sealants create a smooth surface that is easy to keep clean with regular brushing.
Sealants can be applied to children’s teeth, preventing almost inevitable cavities, as well as to adult teeth.
The process is simple and quick. The tooth (teeth) are cleaned and dried; the sealant is applied to the tooth enamel where it bonds and hardens.
Sealant applications should then be checked for wear, tear and chipping during your routine exams. While sealants can last for many years reapplication may eventually be necessary. However, as long as they are intact they will protect the covered areas from decay.