Prevention & Gum Care
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Dennis Iverson at your new patient dental visit. The following may be performed at your regular check-up exams, by the dentist or hygienist:
Examination of digital or film x-rays (radiographs): They are essential for the detection of tooth decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root conditions.
Oral cancer screening: An examination of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for early signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) evaluation: An evaluation of the gums and bone around the teeth, looking for any signs of concern.
Tooth Examination: All tooth surfaces will be examined for decay.
Check current restorations, fillings, crowns, or implants to make sure they are secure and intact.
Professional dental cleanings are usually performed by dental hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will typically follow a dental exam and include the following:
Removal of tartar: Tartar (Calculus) is hardened plaque that has bonded to the surface of the tooth. Calculus can form above and below the gum line and requires special dental instruments to remove.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is the early stage of tartar buildup. It contains bacteria producing toxins (poisons) that inflame and infect the gums. This inflammation is the first stages of periodontal disease.
Teeth polishing: This process removes stains from your teeth that may not have been removed during your initial cleaning
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Technology has improved the way dentists evaluate your dental health. There are two types of digital x-rays used during an examination:
Bite-wing x-rays show details of the upper and lower teeth in a select area of the mouth. Bite-wing X-rays are used to detect decay between teeth and any changes in bone density caused by gum disease.
Panoramic x-rays show the entire mouth area–showing both the upper and lower teeth. This type of x-ray is taken to detect the positioning of your permanent teeth as well as emerging teeth.
Our teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque (sounds like PLAK). When we eat or drink anything that contains sugar-such as cookies, candy, soda, juice, or sports drinks-bacteria turn the sugar into acids that can attack tooth enamel. Over time, these attacks may cause tooth decay, or cavities. The good news is that there is a way to protect teeth and prevent decay: dental sealants.
Why are sealants needed?
Tooth decay often begins on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces have pits and grooves that trap plaque, bacteria, and bits of food. The pits and grooves are hard to keep clean, because toothbrush bristles cannot reach into them.
That is how decay starts in the pits and grooves and cavities form. To keep decay from starting here, the dentist may recommend dental sealants.
How do sealants work?
A dental sealant is a plastic material (resin) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves in the teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by sealing out plaque, bacteria, and food. > Read More
What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection. It affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease gets worse, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are damaged. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
• Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
• Floss or use another between-the-tooth cleaner daily to remove plaque and bits of food from areas your toothbrush can't reach.
• Your dentist or hygienist may recommend using a germ-fighting mouthrinse or other products.
• Eat a healthy diet and limit snacks. Find out more at the website choosemyplate.gov.
• Visit your dentist regularly. If plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens into tartar (also called "calculus"). Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, which traps bacteria along the gumline. > Read More
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