Prevention of dental disease is the most important element of your oral health. There is nothing better or healthier than your natural tooth structure. It’s the top priority for Dr. Scott Kiser, and the professional dental team at Smiles to help you prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Kiser at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): An important part of your comprehensive dental exam, dental x-rays allow your dental team to evaluation your oral health inside and out.
- Oral cancer screening: Using the latest technology we evaluate the soft tissues inside and outside of your mouth, as well as, your head and neck. Early detection of any abnormality provides more treatment options if something is found to be abnormal.
- Gum disease evaluation: Our hygienists are trained to evaluate the health of the supporting structures around your teeth. This periodontal screening is an essential part to the oral exam. Uncontrolled gum disease has been linked to systemic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Also, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in people over the age of 35.
- Examination of tooth decay: Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, it can decay when it is exposed to harmful bacteria by-products. Once a cavity starts, it will not go away on its own and it can spread to adjacent teeth. Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and your dental x-rays for tooth decay.
- Examination of existing restorations: Even the best dental restorations can wear out over time. On average, a dental crown or filling can last up to 10+ years in the presence of good oral habits and regular professional care. We carefully check the integrity of each and every restoration and will let you know if/when it is necessary to replace or repair the restoration to maximize the functionality of the restored tooth.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis, periodontal maintenance) are performed by a Registered Dental Hygienist. Your hygiene appointment with Alameda Dental Care will include the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus (tartar) is the hard substance that forms on your teeth. It is plaque mixed with the minerals in your saliva and hardens onto the tooth structures. It forms above and below the gum-line. Your hygienist uses a combination of instruments to comfortably remove the build up from your teeth. Your toothbrush does NOT remove tartar from your teeth.
- Removal of plaque: Dental plaque is your worst enemy when it comes to dental health. It is a dangerous matrix of bacteria and debris. It is a living, invisible film that covers the teeth and can extend below the gum-line. It emits a by-product that is acidic in nature and causes tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque CAN be removed with a toothbrush and floss.
- Teeth polishing: Polishing the teeth is usually the final step of the routine dental cleaning your hygienist will perform for you. Polishing the teeth removes external stains and plaque and makes your teeth feel smooth.
Dental Radiographs (X-rays)
At Smiles in Salt Lake City, we use digital radiography and all safety precautions to obtain necessary dental x-rays. This modern digital technology helps to minimize the exposure to unnecessary radiation for both our patients and our staff. We take safety seriously in our Salt Lake City dentist office, and only take x-rays on our patients when we find it necessary to properly evaluate your dental condition.
Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays can help your dentist see what the visual examination cannot reveal. Such as:
- Bone loss
- Missing or extra teeth
- TMJ problems
How Often Do I Need To Take Dental X-Rays?
Because every patient is different, we assess the need for dental x-rays on an individual basis. Your dentist and hygienist will work with you to determine the best care for your specific condition.
Generally speaking, we only according to the acceptable standard of care in the dental industry. We do not take x-rays based on insurance standards or frequency limits for payment. A full set of radiographs or a panoramic x-ray is considered current if it has been taken within the last 3-5 years. A check-up set, or “bitewing” radiographs are taken every 12 months, or, in some cases every 6 months.
Preventative Dental Care At Home
What you do at home to care for your teeth is the most important part of your dental health routine. Yes, it is true, regular care with your dentist and hygienist are crucial. Your home care and developing good habits are a vital part of your overall oral health.
We always encourage open conversation with your dental health providers when you have questions about your treatment recommendations. We believe YOU should be an active participant in your care. Overdue for your next cleaning? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.