Evolution Dentistry

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Implants, Prosthodontics, Cosmetic, & Reconstructive Dentistry

Dental Exams and Cleanings in Houston, TX

Dental Exam

During your initial dental visit, your dentist will conduct a thorough dental examination. Additionally, during regular check-up exams, both your dentist and hygienist will perform the following procedures:

1. Diagnostic X-ray Examination: Vital for identifying decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also aid in determining tooth and root positions.

2. Oral Cancer Screening: A careful examination of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums to identify any potential signs of oral cancer.

3. Evaluation of Gum Disease: The gums and the supporting bone around the teeth will be examined for any indications of periodontal disease.

4. Examination of Tooth Decay: A meticulous inspection of all tooth surfaces will be conducted using specialized dental instruments to identify any signs of decay.

5. Assessment of existing dental restorations: A thorough check-up of current fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations will be performed.

Why Is a Dental Exam Necessary?

Patients of all ages in Houston, Texas are advised to attend dental checkups at least once per year to address their comprehensive oral health needs. Additionally, dental examinations can be conducted if necessary to evaluate any dental discomfort, trauma, or localized conditions that may arise between appointments. It is important to note that gum disease, which is often the main culprit behind tooth loss, as well as dental caries, may not exhibit obvious symptoms until they have reached more advanced stages. By detecting dental issues promptly, our expert staff can provide a wider range of treatment options. In accordance with the guidelines set by the American Dental Association (ADA), it is recommended that infants and toddlers visit a dental practitioner before their first birthday. At this early stage, we are able to address various concerns such as teething and finger-sucking, and guide parents on how to properly clean their young one’s teeth and gums as their mouth structures develop. By scheduling annual comprehensive oral exams, parents can instill effective oral hygiene practices in their children from an early age, leading to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dental Cleaning by a Professional

Registered dental hygienists typically carry out professional dental cleanings, known as dental prophylaxis. During your cleaning appointment, you can expect a comprehensive dental examination as well as the following procedures:
1. Elimination of Calculus (Tartar): Calculus refers to hardened plaque that has accumulated on the tooth surface over an extended period and has become firmly attached. This calcified plaque can form both above and below the gumline and necessitates special dental instruments for removal.

2. Plaque Removal: Plaque is an almost imperceptible sticky film that develops on teeth. It consists of a thriving colony of bacteria, food remnants, and saliva. The bacteria produce harmful toxins that result in gum inflammation, which serves as the initial stage of periodontal disease.

3. Teeth Polishing: This procedure aims to eliminate stains and plaque that could not be entirely eliminated through regular tooth brushing and scaling techniques.

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Regular dental exams and cleanings are crucial for maintaining optimal oral health. These routine appointments allow dentists to detect and prevent potential dental issues before they become more serious problems. They also help keep your teeth and gums clean, preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Most dentists recommend scheduling dental exams and cleanings every six months. However, the frequency may vary depending on your individual oral health needs. Your dentist will determine the appropriate interval for your specific situation based on factors such as your dental history and current oral health condition.
During a dental examination, your dentist will perform a thorough assessment of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. They will check for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral abnormalities. X-rays may be taken to get a more detailed view of your teeth and underlying structures. Your dentist may also conduct an oral cancer screening as part of the examination.
During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist will carefully remove plaque and tartar from your teeth using special tools. They will also polish your teeth to remove surface stains and give them a smooth texture. The hygienist may also provide oral hygiene instructions and recommendations tailored to your needs, promoting better dental care habits at home.
Generally, dental exams and cleanings should not cause significant discomfort. The examination involves visually inspecting your mouth, and the cleaning process may cause mild scraping sensations. However, any discomfort should be minimal and temporary. If you experience discomfort during the procedure, be sure to communicate with your dental professional, as they can make adjustments to ensure your comfort.
Many dental insurance plans include coverage for routine dental exams and cleanings. However, the extent of coverage can vary among different insurance providers and plans. It is important to review your specific dental insurance policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the details of your coverage.
To maintain good oral health between dental appointments, it is essential to practice consistent oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily to remove plaque and debris from between teeth, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Additionally, having a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco products, and limiting sugary foods and drinks can contribute to better oral health.
If you experience dental anxiety, it is important to communicate your concerns with your dentist or dental hygienist. They can work with you to create a more comfortable environment and may offer techniques like deep breathing or dental sedation options to help you relax during your appointment. Openly discussing your fears can lead to a more positive dental experience.