Prophy Exams / Cleaning
Your prophy exam is one of the most fundamental elements to healthy oral hygiene and accomplishes several things.
A standard prophy exam consist of meticulously cleaning, polishing, removing tartar, and examining the overall health of your teeth. We use the traditional prophy paste, hand scalers, and as requested the prophy jet in place of the paste. During one of your two annual exams we encourage all patients to have x-rays taken for areas that cannot be observed by the natural eye. We use digital x-ray equipment which substantially reduces the already minimal amount of radiation used in the imaging process.
After the Hygienist has completed the cleaning and taken x-rays one of our Dentist comes and examines each patient. During this time he is attempting to identify areas that may need further treatment and counsels what treatment would be best to minimize the necessary restorative work if treated in a reasonable time. The Dentist also may inquire if the patient would like to have a comprehensive Perio Evaluation in which the health of your gums are examined and charted.
During the exam process we take the time to help our patients develop proper oral hygiene habits at home and make suggestions for general preventative measures such as dental sealants or nightguards to protect against bruxism & TMJ. The Doctor will also take the opportunity during your exam to check your neck and oral tissues for lumps, red or white patches, and areas with recurring sores. This portion of the exam provides an opportunity to screen for early changes in the oral tissue and can potentially help detect cancer at an earlier stage and thereby improve treatment options.
Finally, if we feel that you are suffering from gingivitis or more severe forms of gum disease, we may recommend a deeper cleaning called root planing. These measures can be instrumental in preventing bone loss and helping you to keep your natural teeth.