Cleaning, Digital X-Rays, Exams

Prophylaxis is a standard procedure that is performed by the hygienist each time you have a dental cleaning. It is performed with special dental files and scalers. They are sharp enough to dislodge hardened plaque and tartar from the tooth, but gentle enough that they do not damage the tooth enamel.   Prophylaxis should be performed every six months. It is minimally invasive procedure that does not require any anesthesia and does not require any post-procedure care beyond normal brushing and flossing.  
  The best diagnostic tool the dentist has is an x-ray. X-rays show the gums, teeth, bone and any problems that might be present. Some people may have concerns about the radiation involved in receiving an x-ray. The amount of radiation from dental x-rays is less than radiation exposure from being in the sun.   We take a panoramic x-ray or full mouth x-rays on all new patients. It is best to have a new set of x-rays to check for changes that cannot be detected any other way.
An important part of a patient's first visit to a dental office is the examination. All the teeth will be evaluated. We will record the existing fillings, missing teeth, any cavities or broken teeth. This is done with a visual inspection and by feeling the teeth. At this time the dentist will also check for signs of oral cancer by performing an oral cancer screening. This is the perfect opportunity for the patient to state their concerns they may have regarding their teeth. Once all this information is gathered, the dentist will formulate a treatment plan specific for your mouth and discuss your options with you.