Dental Exams & Professional Cleanings
Oral Health Examination
As part of the preventive program Bass Lake Dental recommends oral health examinations and professional dental cleanings every six months. The oral health examination includes the following:
Examination of diagnostic radiographs (x-rays): Dental radiographs are essential diagnostic tools for detection of decay, cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, abscesses and bone loss. Radiographs are also used to assess periodontal status and determine tooth and root positions. The need for dental radiographs depends on each patient's individual dental health needs. A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients and is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of the top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at check-up visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.
Examination for tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be examined for tooth decay using special dental instruments.
Periodontal evaluation: Periodontal status will be assessed by examining the gums and bone around the teeth.
Examination of existing restorations: The condition of existing restorations (crowns and fillings) will be determined.
Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat and gums will be examined for signs of oral cancer.
Discussion of treatment needs and options
Specific oral hygiene recommendations
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by registered dental hygienists and include the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for a protracted period and is firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments. The hygienists at Bass Lake Dental employ ultrasonic scalers to ensure a thorough cleaning.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film of live bacteria, food debris, and saliva that forms on the teeth. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums and initiate periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: Removal of stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.