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General dentistry

Examination and clean

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, your dentist and will perform the following:

  • Diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions. This is advised every two years. 
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer. 
  • 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. 

 

Your cleaning appointment will include:

  • 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. Without removal of this gum inflammation occurs and results in gum disease.
  • 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.
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

 

Composite fillings

A composite (tooth coloured) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. 

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth adjusts to the new filling. 

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

 

Preventative sealants (Fissure sealants) 

A sealant is a thin, resin coating applied to any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Teeth with these grooves are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay.  A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface. These are most commonly placed in children when a new molar erupts to prevent future decay. The procedure is painless and can sometimes be done in a matter of minutes.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.