Prevention is the Best Step
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s especially true in dentistry.
If you take care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing diligently at home and visiting your dentist regularly, you’ll significantly delay or even avoid the need for dental intervention. That’s why we preach prevention. Here’s what you can expect from a routine visit.
Especially in the case of new patients, we’ll begin by taking X-rays so Dr. Staten can determine if there are any cavities or areas of concern that warrant plugins attention or treatment.
The most common X-rays are bite wings. The dentist uses these images to determine if you have tooth decay (caries). Another type of X-ray is a panoramic X-ray, which provides a complete view of your teeth and facial structure, and helps the dentist detect any abnormalities in your bite or jaw.
After your X-rays are complete, Dr. Staten will perform a thorough exam. Using a small explorer tool and mirror, she will explore your teeth and gums looking for potential trouble spots, such as tooth decay, gum inflammation (which can signal gingivitis), or gum recession (which can indicate gum disease). She’ll discuss her findings with you and, if needed, work with you to develop an action plan to address the problems. Usually, you’ll schedule an appointment to return at a later date to begin treatment.
After your exam, our oral hygienist will use a handheld instrument and ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. The ultrasonic device uses vibrations to dislodge plaque and bacteria from the hard-to-reach crevices in your teeth and gum line.
Patients also may receive preventive sealants and/or fluoride treatments.