Dental Exams and Cleanings

Dental Exam

So, what exactly does a dental office mean by an ‘exam’?  A comprehensive dental exam includes the following services performed by your dentist at your initial and routine visits.  A comprehensive exam includes the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Your dentist will review your x-rays.  This is essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions, and in some cases can be used to help identify causes of pain or to detect possible future problems (such as position of the wisdom teeth).
  • Oral cancer screening: Your dentist will check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Your dentist will check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay (cavities) with special dental instruments.  Dr. Rush prefers to use a detection tool called the diagnodent laser, which is able to detect cavities at the deepest level, which increases the likelihood of discovering them while they are still small and manageable (or, in other words, before they’re big enough to start causing you pain!).
  • Examination of existing restorations: The dentist will also check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

At Fulton Ranch Dental our professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by our staff of Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental 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, leaving your teeth feeling smooth and clean!