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Dental Exams & Cleanings

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Kend or Dr. Thunberg at your initial dental visit.  Our initial exams generally run 45 minutes to an hour.  The doctors may have you come back for a no-charge consultation to fully explain your treatment and answer any questions you may have.  At regular check-up exams, the doctor 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.
  • 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.  We accomplish this via periodontal probing, also known as taking gum measurements.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay visually, tactilely using an explorer and in some cases we use a special laser that is designed to detect the presence of decay.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your 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.