An oral examination is a visual inspection of the mouth, head, and neck, performed to detect abnormalities. X-rays allow for a more complete examination, helping the doctor to detect cavities, problems in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession, infections, widom teeth, or other abnormal conditions within the mouth, head, and neck area. It is true, that 80% of the exam is not relying on the x-rays, but the 20% that we use the x-rays for is where the serious problems hide. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in digital x-ray machines so that we need a very minimal x-ray dose to get the information we need. Our biggest investment has been in a machine that takes the x-rays and turns them into a 3-D model, and gives us 3 viewing planes like and MRI. This uses less x-ray dosage than the old film machines. The accuracy of diagnosis is amazing! I can’t imagine planning, or doing treatment on someone without this new technology.
A routine dental cleaning, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that vibrates and flushes the teeth and gums with water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, the typical hand tools are used to remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. Once all the tooth surfaces have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, the teeth are polished.
Many sports require athletes to use a mouth guard to protect their teeth while practicing and playing. Frequently used in contact sports, the mouth guard covers the gums and teeth to provide protection for lips, gums, teeth, and arches. A properly fitted mouth guard can reduce the severity of dental injuries.
Pre-formed, ready-to-wear mouth guards can be purchased inexpensively at many sporting stores, but they do not always fit well. They can be uncomfortable and can interfere with talking and even breathing.
Sporting goods stores also offer semi-custom mouth guards in which the plastic is heated and then the athlete bites on it while still warm to provide some level of custom fit.
Our office can make a custom mouth guard by taking an impression of your teeth and then creating a device fitted to your mouth for the highest level of both comfort and protection. A custom fitted mouthguard can be particularly important for athletes who wear braces.
Be sure to bring your mouthguard to your dental appointments, so we can be sure it still fits you well.