Palo Alto, CA
Without a dental oral exam, it is likely that a dentist will not know what is happening inside of your mouth.
Dental issues present in different ways. There are those that can easily be spotted such as decay occurring on the crown surface within the visible part of the tooth.
There are others that cannot easily be seen such as cavities occurring within the interspaces or below the gumline within the roots of a tooth.
The jawbone is not visible, therefore, a dentist may not know its condition just by looking at it, though the receding bone may show reduced tissue volume.
Visiting our team at Palo Alto Oral Health for a comprehensive dental exams and professional teeth cleanings is very important and presents a vital element of preventive dentistry.
If you are new with us, we would be happy to schedule a new patient dental exam for you.
Preparing for Dental Exams
An important part of a new patient dental exam is to ensure that the dentist has your information including your past dental treatments and procedures, current medications, and allergies.
Some people are allergic to things like metals used for fillings such as amalgam fillings.
It is also important to create a list of any dental signs or symptoms you have been experiencing lately. This will guide our team in understanding how an oral condition you have may have started.
Make sure you clean your mouth properly. Although a comprehensive dental exam involves cleaning the mouth, you also want to make sure you do your part of keeping the mouth clean.
A dentist will examine how properly you clean your gums and teeth and provide advice on improving your general oral cleaning.
What is Included in a Comprehensive Dental Exam?
Some people fear seeing a dentist; they fret at toothaches and other dental treatment procedures. As a result, many only visit a dentist when they have unbearable pain and it is sometimes too late to get their tooth saved.
When you come for dental checkups and exams, our dental team will perform a number of dental activities.
The team will check for your dental history. Our dentist will want to know a bit more regarding your dental history before doing anything in your mouth.
Whether it is your very first appointment with us, any changes in medications such as current medication or your medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and pregnancy, should be provided.
During your comprehensive dental exam, our dental team will look at your gums and teeth with a probe and a small angled mirror.
These tools allow our dentist to see areas behind the teeth and gums and between them. We look for things like sores, swelling of gums, and redness.
The dentist will measure the depth of your gum pockets. If the pockets exceed three millimeters in depth, it could signal gum disease.
We will also obtain x-rays of the mouth where we get a detailed view of the jawbone, inside the teeth, the hidden parts of the tooth roots, and other parts that are not visible to the eyes.
X-rays can show if the bone is receding and if the pulp is infected. They can also show if there is decay in the interdental areas.
Last but not least, our dentist will check for signs of grinding, clenching, and jaw misalignment.
During a comprehensive dental exam, we will inspect your mouth and clean your teeth.
We know how important dental health is since it can impact the health of teeth and gums or even the jawbone. That is why we constantly insist that you check in for regular teeth cleanings.
Often, when patients visit us, we examine their gums to rule out major issues like gum disease.
We also clean the mouth. We never leave a patient to go home without cleaning their mouth.
The regular cleaning people do at home is unable to stamp out all plaque and tartar.
In fact, tartar that has accumulated in your mouth can only be removed by a dentist using special tools. Prophylaxis involves cleaning the teeth to remove plaque, any leftover food particles, as well as tartar.
The regular cleanings you receive in our dental office mostly entail prophylaxis. You may think of prophylaxis as your twice-a-year cleaning.
Scaling and Root Planing]
After gingivitis advances to become periodontitis, a patient presenting at our office has bad breath that does not seem to go away.
A patient may also have gums pulled away from teeth, loose teeth, painful chewing, and red, swollen gums.
Scaling and root planing aim at stopping the progression of periodontitis.
Our dentist will scrape off the tooth surfaces, eliminating tartar and plaque.
The dentist will also clean the gum pockets and even out the surfaces of your teeth to get rid of rough areas and deep crevices where bacteria plaque can hide.
Besides addressing periodontitis, scaling and planing may be performed after receiving treatment for gum disease.
In this case, it is considered a preventive measure since it helps prevent the disease from re-emerging and attacking the gums.
It is essential to realize that periodontitis cannot be cured or reversed like the case of gingivitis. A dentist mostly works to stop its progression.
Scaling and planing, as periodontal maintenance procedures, are conducted after three to four months.
Gross Debridement Cleanings
People who have difficulties maintaining their oral hygiene may need gross debridement cleanings when they visit our dental office.
The reason is that when you do not clean the mouth regularly you allow bacterial plaque to form on a large scale.
Additionally, if you skip regular dental cleaning appointments, you may require undergoing gross debridement cleanings after coming to our office.
Our dentist will scrape off the hardened plaque with an electrical tool before doing a brief prophylaxis procedure to remove the loosened tartar as well as plaque and bacteria.
Call and Visit!
Visit us at Palo Alto Oral Health to get a comprehensive dental exam. It is one of the important steps in ensuring good oral health. Call us at (650) 321-9693 to schedule an appointment.