At your first dental visit a complete dental exam will be done by your dentist. At that time and at following regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include:
- Diagnostic x-rays (radiographs) and digital photographs: to find decay, cysts, bone loss and tooth positions.
- Oral Disease screening: to check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral disease.
- Gum disease evaluation: to check your gums and bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.
- Examination of tooth surfaces: to check for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: to check your fillings, crowns, veneers etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (scaling, root planing, and polishing) are done by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam by the dentist and:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has formed on the tooth and will be firmly attached. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can be removed with appropriate dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease and can effect your general health!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
A sealant is a plastic resin material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. This preventative measure allows the dentist to seal out plaque and food from the grooves and pits in teeth that are prime targets for decay.
Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
- Decay between the teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.
Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. At Mint Dental, not only do we use digital technology which radiates 90% less radiation than normal x-rays, but also we take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. We use lead apron shields to protect your body and also modern, fast film that reduces exposure time.