A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit to Cudahy Dental in order to diagnose any dental issues and diseases that will require treatment. This will include a full series of digital dental x-rays and intraoral photos taken with our intraoral cameras to better show our patients our findings as we see them.
These are essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
This will include an exam of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments Including examination fo existing fillings, crowns, etc.
This portion of the exam will check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for any signs of gingival or periodontal disease.
This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up as there are many stages of periodontal disease:
When there is minimal or no plaque, deposit (tartar aka calculus), and staining on the tooth surfaces with healthy and pink gum tissues without bleeding. There are also no changes in bone levels around the teeth on X-rays.
When there is plaque, deposit (tartar aka calculus), and staining present on the teeth with red, inflamed and bleeding gum tissues. There are also no changes in bone levels around the teeth on X-rays, unless the patient has had periodontal disease that has been treated.
When there is chronic (long term) plaque, deposit (tartar aka calculus), and staining present on the teeth with red, inflamed and bleeding gum tissues. The difference between periodontitis and gingivitis is how long the process has been going on and the loss of bone around teeth on X-rays with an associated recession of the gum tissues.
Depending on each individual’s periodontal disease status and diagnosis by the dentist, there may be a need for deeper cleaning called scaling and root planing or possibly a referral to a Periodontist; a dental specialist dedicated to treating periodontal disease.