A Dental Exam is the First Step to a Healthy Smile
People can be more diligent about changing the oil in their cars than keeping their regular bi-annual dental exam and professional cleanings. That’s a shame because for most people good home hygiene coupled with a regular professional dental exam and cleanings could be all they’d really need. Good hygiene usually heads off issues such as
- gum disease
- teeth extractions
- root canals
Why is this? Frequent exams with the team at Centennial Dental Center allows us to spot issues such as decay. With early detection, we can help you long before anything more than a filling would be required. We can also see signs of gingivitis before it evolves into gum disease. If you need a dental exam, contact our Boise office, and our helpful staff is ready to help you today.
Why do I need a Dental Exam Twice Yearly?
Patients sometimes wonder why they need to have their teeth examined and professionally cleaned twice each year. It’s not an arbitrary number. Six months is about the length of time it takes plaque to harden into tartar to a degree in your mouth that it should be removed. While brushing and flossing remove plaque every day, that same plaque hardens into tartar if you don’t brush enough and also in some places such as the inside of your lower teeth (where everyone builds up tartar). Tartar can only be removed by a professional hygienist using dental picks. When you get beyond six months, tartar can begin to creep under your gumline, and that spells the beginning of gum disease.
As always….outstanding service, highest quality and care. A patient from the very beginning of Centennial Dental.
What is Involved in a Dental Exam
Your twice-yearly dental exam usually takes around one hour. Here’s what we do in this appointments at Centennial Dental Center:
We like to take digital x-rays once each year. These can reveal cavities between your teeth, the health of your jawbone, and the alignment of the teeth (particularly important for children). Our digital x-rays have very low radiation compared to film x-rays and they can be enlarged easily to look at areas of concern.
We’ll Examine Your Mouth
Before Dr. Wright sees you, your hygienist examines your mouth. He or she will first look for signs of tooth decay and any areas of softening enamel. This is an early sign of decay. Next will come measurements of the pockets around your teeth. These measurements tell us if your gums are receding and whether gum disease is causing bone loss. Finally, your bite will be evaluated. Again, this check is important for children with rapidly developing teeth.
We’ll Screen for Oral Cancer.
Both your hygienist and Dr. Wright will check for signs of oral cancer during your dental exam. We’ll examine your head, neck, and lips, along with your mouth tissues including your tongue. This is when we pull on your tongue, push on your glands below your jawline, all of that. The reason we do this is simple —oral cancer treatment is very successful IF it is caught early.
We’ll Scale and Clean Your Teeth.
We’ll scale your teeth, which means we’ll use picks and other dental tools to remove all of the tartar that has formed on your teeth. We’ll then polish your teeth with a special gritty paste that removes stains and polishes the enamel. See our dental cleaning page to learn more.
We May Apply Fluoride or Sealants.
If we’re dealing with our younger patients, our final step during a dental exam will be to apply fluoride, long proven to effectively protect teeth. And if we haven’t done so already, we’ll apply a resin sealant to the molars to prevent bacteria and food debris from getting down into the deep cracks in the molars.