What to expect on your first appointment
Your dental checkup includes:
- A visual exam of your mouth, face, jaw and neck
- Digital diagnostics, as determined by your dentist
- A gingival pocket exam
- Professional cleaning of your teeth
- Comprehensive data capture in an electronic dental record
During a visual exam, your dentist will use an intraoral camera with sophisticated magnification and lighting to see all surface areas inside your mouth. You will be able to watch the real-time, tooth-by-tooth video exam on your chairside monitor.
Your dentist looks not only for cracked and decayed teeth, but also for growths and sores on the roof and floor of your mouth, tongue, lips, gums, and the mucous membranes that line your cheeks and gums. Then your dentist will check the lymph nodes of your head, jaw and neck for pain, tenderness and flexibility.
- Digital X-rays: Digital X-rays detect dental problems that cannot be found during a visual exam. We use Digital X-rays that provide instant results and emit 90 percent less radiation. Your dentist determines how often you need to have Digital X-rays.
- Gingival Pocket Exam: Healthy teeth require healthy gums. A gingival pocket exam determines the presence or risk of gum (periodontal) disease.
Gingival Pocket Exam
Healthy teeth require healthy gums. A gingival pocket exam determines the presence or risk of gum (periodontal) disease.
What to Know:
- Each tooth sits inside a gingival pocket of gum tissue. Food debris and plaque naturally collect inside this pocket.
- Daily tooth brushing and flossing remove food debris and plaque from the gingival pocket. If not removed, harmful bacteria penetrate the gumline and deepen the pocket.
- As the depth of a gingival pocket increases, so does the risk of tooth damage and infection that leads to gum disease.
- During your exam, a hand-held instrument is gently placed between gums and teeth (sulcus) to measure the depth of each pocket.
- In its earliest stage, gum disease may be reversible. Since it rarely has symptoms of pain, it is possible to have gum disease and not know it.
Your teeth are cleaned using special instruments to remove plaque from above and below the gumline. Afterwards, your teeth are polished. Tooth polishing makes your teeth look and feel great. It also smoothes tooth surfaces so plaque is less likely to accumulate.
Electronic Dental Records
The records of our patients’ dental checkups, diagnostics and treatments are kept electronically. Our patients benefit because the dentist has immediate, comprehensive access to medical histories as well as the results of previous and current exams, diagnostics, treatment plans and progress reports. Electronic dental records improve patient safety and create clinical efficiencies that help reduce patient waiting time before and during appointments.