YOUR TWICE-YEARLY EXAM & CLEANING VISIT
Your bi-yearly cleaning appointment serves to be something much more than just a simple polish of your teeth, leaving them whiter and brighter. During the cleaning, we are working to not only improve the esthetics of your smile, but we are also completing a preventative maintenance. In addition, the doctor uses this time to re-evaluate to health and condition of your teeth and gums, as well as your overall health. Lastly, the staff takes great pleasure in using this as an opportunity to get better acquainted with you, the patient, and learn about what changes have occurred in your life these past 6 months.
Once seated in the dental chair, we will review your medical history to learn of any changes that have developed over the past few months. You will always be asked and provided the opportunity to explain to us any specific concerns about your mouth that have presented themselves during your time away.
At Stellar Dental, we follow the American Dental Association's recommendation for a complete set of radiographs once every five years and bitewing, or cavity detecting x-rays, once a year for diagnostic purposes. As such, we will obtain any necessary radiographs during this visit to keep you up-to-date with these recommendations. In addition, we may take an extra x-ray of specific teeth that may be causing problems or be of concern. Following this protocol ensures that all new conditions are diagnosed and treated shortly after their development preventing the need of more invasive costly procedures as will also be the case when small problems become big problems.
Following this, our hygienist will complete a prophylactic cleaning. During the past 6 months, every time you eat, plaque, a combination of food particles and bacteria, accumulates on your teeth. If not properly removed, the calcium present in your saliva will harden the plaque into calculus, a substance that cannot be removed with a toothbrush or dental floss. Most patients have at least minimal accumulation of tartar around their upper molars and their bottom front teeth, as this is where major salivary glands drain into the mouth. During the cleaning, all of this accumulation will be removed to eliminate causes of inflammation and allow healing of the tissue. Patients will be informed of the extent of accumulation and advised on changes that can be made to their daily hygiene routine to help reduce build-up. Together this helps ensure that mild accumulations do not become major accumulations which lead to gum disease and bone loss.
Finally, the doctor will perform a full oral evaluation. During this period she will evaluate the health of your teeth and their supporting gums and bone. An oral cancer screening will also be completed. Intraoral pictures may be obtained to illustrate certain areas to you, the patient.
After the full evaluation is completed, the doctor will present to you all of her findings using x-rays and any obtained pictures to best explain what is happening. Options to treat all issues will be presented and together you and the doctor will make a plan.
Once complete, the patient will have any and all costs associated with their treatment needs presented to them by our front desk.
Our goal is to have every patient leave our practice aware of what treatment they need, why they need it, when they should aim to complete it by and what it will cost. We believe that an open honest line of communication is the best way to ensure patient satisfaction. If for some reason, we have failed to achieve this, please let us know.