Dental Exams and Cleanings

Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. They can help to avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends checkups twice a year for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage. How it’s done The dentist first examines your mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high intensity lights. They will look for cracked and decayed teeth, as well as review other important items such as: Medical history review: The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health. Examination of tooth decay: with the help of xrays, we are able to assess the presence of decay in between your teeth and under existing fillings. Our instruments will also aid in detecting cavities starting in the pits of teeth and around the margins of existing restorations. Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer. Gum disease evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease. Examination of existing restorations: Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order. Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas below the gums. Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12-24 months (to detect the presence of cavities in between teeth and under existing fillings) and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years (to assess the location and eruption pattern of adult teeth and to assess the entire head for possible lesions). Dental Cleanings Routine dental cleanings are important in maintaining good oral hygiene. Professional cleaning by a hygienist can remove mineralized plaque (called calculus or tartar) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. The overall health of the gums (based on clinical pocket depths) and the amount of calculus present will dictate how often it is recommended that you go in for a cleaning. Your dentist and hygienist will recommended what interval is right for you, whether it is to come in every 3 months, 4 months, 6 months or 9 months. How it’s done You can

Cavities: How and Why Do Dentists Fix Cavities on Baby Teeth?

Children eventually lose their primary teeth (baby teeth), however, that set of teeth needs to survive until the adult teeth pushes them out of the gums. There are consequences of losing the baby teeth too early. Why do Dentists fill baby teeth? Baby teeth are the only teeth in your child’s mouth for years until the adult teeth come in. Baby teeth help the adult teeth come in properly by maintaining the right amount of space for the adult teeth to come in. If trauma has happened to the tooth to cause a crack or there are other issues i.e. incorrectly shaped teeth or underdeveloped teeth. How do they fill it? Dentists fill the baby teeth with the same filling material for adult teeth (tooth-coloured composite material). Sometimes Extraction Is Necessary If the decay is so advanced it could cause infection or pain for your child then extraction becomes the best option. A space maintainer is recommended to keep the space until the adult tooth erupts. Kids Sometimes Get Laughing Gas and/or Oral Sedation When children are having cavities filled, dentists sometimes recommend the use of nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas and/or oral sedation. This minimal sedation reduces anxiety and distracts them from the pain associated with both getting that local anesthetic shot in the gums and getting a tooth drilled. Nitrous oxide doesn’t work for all kids, and your dentist may opt to go with an orally administered sedative, instead. Not all dentists can offer nitrous oxide, so it’s best to check beforehand. The Number of Fillings in One Sitting Depends on the Kid Dentist’s number one priority when treating kids is not to create a traumatic experience. When dentists fix cavities for kids, sometimes they do all the cavities at once and sometimes they do only one at a time because some children are fine sitting in the chair for long periods of time, while others are not. Dentists want the best outcome for the kid. Providing quality oral care to a crying child is very difficult for both the kids and the parents. If you’re anxious about your child’s first filling, our dentists will put you at ease. We develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your child, with an aim to preserve the baby teeth until the adult teeth come in. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep