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Diagnostics & Prevention
Dental Exams & Cleanings

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Dental Exams & Cleanings

A complete dental exam is performed by the dentist during your first visit. Regular checkup exams always include the following services:
  • Diagnostic x-ray examination: Important for detecting cysts, bone loss, tumors and decay. X-rays are also important in determining tooth and root positioning.
  • Screening for oral cancer: Involves checking the face, neck, throat, lips, tongue, gums and relates tissues for any evidence of oral cancer.
  • Evaluation for gum disease: Checks the gums and the bone around teeth for signs of periodontal or gum disease.
  • Examination for tooth decay: Tooth surfaces are examined for decay using specialized dental instruments designed for this purpose.
  • Examination of existing restoration work: Fillings, crowns and other work are checked for quality and to see if damage is present.
dental exam

Professional Dental Cleaning

Dental prophylaxis or simply a professional dental cleaning is done, in most cases, by a registered dental hygienist. A typical cleaning appointment includes a dental exam as well as:
  • Tartar removal: Also called calculus, tartar is hard plaque that has remained on the tooth surface long enough to become firmly attached. It forms both above and below the gum line and must be removed using specialized dental instruments.
  • Plaque removal: A sticky and nearly invisible film that covers teeth. It includes living bacteria as well as food debris and saliva and must be removed. It produces toxins or poisons that irritate and inflame gums and cause periodontal disease.
  • Teeth polishing: The removal of plaque and stained that does not come off during regular brushing or professional scaling.

If you would like a dental exam, call (619) 640-5100 to schedule a time with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS.