Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care. It helps protect your oral health and overall well-being. A dental exam gives your dentist a chance to provide tips on caring for your teeth and to detect any problems early — when they’re most treatable.
During a dental exam, the dentist will perform a meticulous tooth-by-tooth check to identify cavities, examine prior treatment and restorations and the current condition of each, locate any chipped, cracked, or missing teeth, or identify any work that needs to be performed. The dentist or hygienist will also evaluate your risk of developing other oral health problems, as well as complete an oral cancer screening to check for abnormalities. This clinical exam combined with a radiographic exam of the x-rays will help the dentist in diagnosis.
Once all of this is done, your dentist should have a full understanding of what your oral health needs are and will be able to prescribe any necessary treatments to prevent or treat your issues.
Over time, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. Plaque is a white film of bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar and is very difficult to remove without professional assistance. Scheduling a teeth cleaning with our office can remove this bacteria from your teeth, reducing your risk of cavities and other negative effects on your dental health.
A prophylaxis is preventive and is typically associated with a healthy mouth with minimal gingivitis and no bone loss. Once bone loss is evident, it is called periodontitis and a prophylaxis is no longer adequate treatment.
Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity. In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the grooves of the molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.