Dental Exams

When you are seen for your initial exam and during subsequent visits, the following will be done by Dr. Feurstein and your hygienist:

  • Check for tooth decay: The surfaces of your teeth will be checked for decay visually, by X-ray, by touch and by using a special painless diagnostic laser call the Diagnodent when needed.  The Diagnodent can detect decay at times before it can be seen with the eye, X-ray or by touch.  This allows for a smaller, more conservative restoration thus saving more natural tooth structure.
  • Check existing restoration: Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and that includes previous dental work.  Dental restorations need to be checked for cracks, excessive wear, recurrent decay, the continued integrity of its fit to the teeth and its effect on the gums.
    • Check for gum disease: As we mature, our bodies become more prone to developing gum disease which left unchecked will lead to red and swollen gums.  As the disease progresses the teeth affected can become loose and can be lost. A special probe is used in conjunction with X-rays and visual exam to check for the presence and severity of any gum disease so appropriate treatment can be started as early as possible.
    • Oral cancer screening: If diagnosed early, oral cancer is highly treatable.  If found late, the prognosis can be very poor.  The lips, tongue, gums, inside of the cheek, floor and back of the mouth are checked for any signs of oral cancer.

Dental cleaning:

Between dental cleanings, time allows for the build up of plaque (a sticky substance composed among other things of bacteria and food debris which can cause both cavities and gum disease) and calculus (or tarter).  These deposits need to be periodically professionally removed even in people with the best oral hygiene because they can accumulate below the gum line where they cannot be reached without the use of special instruments.  Towards the end of your cleaning, stains from coffee, tea or tobacco use will be removed.

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