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Dental Exams & Cleanings

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by the pediatric dentist at your child's initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, the pediatric dentist will include the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Pathology screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of pathology.
  • Gum disease evaluation: 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 with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Occlusion: Check how the teth are biting and their positions for any signs of crossbites, open bites, etc.
  • Growth and development: Check the dental development as well as growth pattern of the child for future orthodontic needs.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) can be performed by the dentist, certified expanded functions dental assistants or dental hygienists.  Your child's 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.
  • Flossing: Remove plaque deposits and food debris from in betwenn the teeth.