Upon your initial visit to Dr. Curry’s office, it is recommended you have a comprehensive dental exam. This is important on many levels, but mainly to diagnosis any problems you may be having and any other problems that may exist. This exam and most periodic exams will include the following.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): this is essential for the detection of decay, bone loss, tumors, or cysts. These radiographs also show position of the teeth and roots
- Oral cancer screening: checking the gums, lips, tongue, and throat for any signs of oral cancer. Dr. Curry also uses Vizilite (which aids in the detection of oral cancer)
- Examination of tooth decay: all surfaces of all the teeth will be checked for any possible cavities
- Examination of the existing restorations: check all existing crowns, fillings, etc.
- Gum disease evaluation: check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional Dental Cleanings (Dental Prophylaxis) are performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. The hygienist will clean your teeth, and usually the Dental Exam will follow the cleaning. During your cleaning, the hygienist will do the following:
- Removal of tartar (calculus): Calculus is plaque that was left on the tooth for a long period of time and has now hardened. While most calculus can form above the gum, some can form below the gums and special dental instruments most be used to remove this calculus. If this calculus is left on the teeth, bone loss can develop and this is how some people lose their teeth!
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is the sticky film that forms on teeth if they aren’t properly cleaned. Plaque is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. These bacteria can produce toxins that in turn, can inflame the gums. The inflammation is the start of Periodontal Disease
- Teeth Polishing: Done at the end of a cleaning, this polishing can remove fine stains and plaque not otherwise removed during the professional cleaning. This leaves your teeth feeling slick and smooth!
Birmingham Dentist and Routine Cleanings
Seeing the Dentist on a regular basis can save you money and save your teeth! It is recommended that patients come in every six months for an exam and cleaning. If you do happen to have a cavity and by finding the cavity in it’s early stages, Dr. Curry will be able to place a very conservative filling. This will lower the amount of reduction of tooth structure and smaller surface fillings are much less expensive to you!
Call today to schedule with our great Hygienist, and let’s get your teeth back on the track to being healthy!