St. Jacobs Preventive Dental Care
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed at your initial dental visit. A regular check-up exam will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. 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 around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional dental cleanings (scaling and root planning) are performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include 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 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.
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping us detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 40-60 compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. Because we avoid the use of chemicals, digital x-rays are better for the environment. Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. We 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.