As a Gilbert dentist, I know just how important a dental exam is. A dental exam leads to the best dental care that you can get, and it is merely the beginning.
As we covered previously, X-rays are taken on a varying basis depending of the oral status of the patient. A patient with a full mouth of fillings is perhaps more vulnerable so may require more frequent x-rays., every year in some cases. Patients with minimal dental problems can do well with x-rays every two years.
Teeth Cleaning and Oral Care
In some offices the hygienist does a thorough teeth cleaning. She / he can often detect cavities through the manual act of scaling. When the dentist comes for the exam phase, the hygienist will be able to supplement this exam with observations that he/she has seen. This team work helps a patient achieve the greatest of care. The dentist will physically touch each tooth with a sharp instrument called an ‘explorer” This can show if an area of concern is in fact decay or just a stain. An interesting addition to the dental exam is a laser instrument that can detect decay. One model is a Diagnodent.
It emits a low power laser beam which is directed, from close distance, to the tooth surface. Some of the light reflects back and is read by the instrument. The nature of the reflected light will signify a possible decay. This has been an excellent way of detecting decay before it gets larger.
Soft Tissue Exams From Your Dentist in Gilbert
The dentist will also do, what is termed, a soft tissue exam. The tongue, cheeks, palate, upper throat, and gum tissues are examined for any problems. Of special concern are smokers, who do have a tendency to have more intra-oral cancers. As well the neck from the collar bone to the chin is examined for any hard lesions. The dentist is looking for cysts, signs of infection and cancers.
The gums are given a thorough exam both visually and with an instrument called a probe, which is demarcated in millimeters. A normal gum pocket, the area around the teeth, is 3 mm. In gum disease some pockets can range to 10 mm. In such severe cases the patient is referred to a gum specialist, for possible surgery. In less severe cases some dentist do minor gum surgery. The laser is now a popular and successful instrument to correct gum problems.
Gilbert Vista Dental Care
2451 East Baseline Road #210
Gilbert, AZ 85234