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Dental Exams & Cleanings

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist during your child's initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, your child's dentist and hygienist will perform the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (digital radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  Digital x-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease, gingivitis, or bone loss.
  • Examination for tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations/appliances/orthodontic hardware: Check your child's current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by your child's dentist or registered dental hygienist.  Your child's cleaning appointment will include a dental exam(as outlined above) and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special 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 (acids) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.