During a dental exam and cleaning, we thoroughly examine a patient’s teeth, gums, and mouth.

Assessing their overall health and identify any addressable problems.

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During the dental exam the following will be completed:

Medical and dental history review: Dr. Eric will ask about the patient’s medical and dental history, including any medications the patient is taking and any previous dental procedures the patient has had.

X-rays: A full mouth set of X-rays is taken for all new patients. Patients of record will have X-rays taken periodically. We utilize digital x-ray sensors which are clearer and use less radiation than traditional x-rays. (link to dental technology page about digital x-ray sensors.)

Teeth and gum examination: Dr. Eric will check each tooth for decay, damage, and any other issues, such as gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. Probing the pocket depths between the gum and teeth will be measured to determine the health of the gums.

Oral cancer screening: Dr. Eric will examine the inside of the patient’s mouth, including the lips, tongue, and cheeks, for signs of oral cancer. We will refer you to the local oral surgeon for a biopsy if any suspicious lesions are detected.

Treatment planning: If we identify any dental issues during the exam, such as cavities, periodontal disease, and any other teeth issues, Dr. Eric and his staff will compile and discuss a treatment plan with the patient and answer any questions patients may have.

Usually, we will perform cleaning during the same visit. However, if a deep cleaning is needed, you will need subsequent visits.

Exam and cleaning

A dental cleaning, also known as a teeth cleaning or prophylaxis, is a routine procedure performed by Dr. Eric or our registered dental hygienist to remove plaque and tartar, known as calculus, from a patient’s teeth.

The following will be expected during a dental cleaning:

Tartar removal:  Special instruments, such as an ultrasonic scaler and a hand scaler, will be used to remove any tartar and plaque buildup from a patient’s teeth, paying close attention to areas that are prone to plaque accumulation. Usually, the plaque accumulates above and slightly below the gum line. This process may cause slight discomfort, but it is usually well tolerated.

Teeth polishing: After removing all plaque and tartar, a special brush and paste will be used to polish the teeth, removing any surface stains and biofilm, which leaves the surface of the teeth feeling smooth and clean.

Fluoride treatment: Depending on a patient’s individual needs, fluoride treatment may be recommended and placed on the teeth to help strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. It is commonly applied for children at each cleaning due to the higher risk of decay.

Oral hygiene instructions: Oral hygiene habits and instructions will be reviewed with the patient and provide instructions on how to maintain good oral health between visits.

The frequency of dental cleanings can vary depending on a patient’s individual needs, but most patients benefit from visiting the dentist every six months for a routine checkup exam and cleaning. Regular exams and cleaning can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Emergency Exams

Emergency Exams

If dental pain or any unexpected dental problem arises, such as severe tooth pain, trauma, swelling, or cracked and broken teeth, please do not hesitate to reach out. During an emergency dental exam, Dr. Eric will examine the tooth clinically and with x-rays and provide the appropriate treatment to help relieve the pain and prevent further damage. Such treatment may consist of placing a temporary filling in the area until the definitive treatment can be completed, cleaning and dressing a wound, incise and drain, or prescribing antibiotics. In certain cases, a referral to a specialist may be necessary for further evaluation and treatment.

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if a patient is experiencing a dental emergency. A proactive approach to treatment can help prevent the problem from worsening and reduce the risk of further complications.