Dental Exams & Cleanings
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Michael W. Whitecar, at your initial visit. During your subsequent recall visits, he and your hygienist will include the following:
Examination of diagnostic x-rays: This is essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. A full series of x-rays will be taken on new patients, which is good for three to five years. Bitewing x-rays will be taken annually thereafter to check for recurrent decay in areas where our staff cannot see clinically.
Oral cancer screening: We will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a oral exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.