An oral dental exam is performed on both new and existing patients to determine their dental and health status.
New patients receive a more comprehensive exam that includes x-rays and checks for gum and bone disease, systemic disorders and oral cancer.
A more routine exam is done for existing patients to see if there have been any changes in health since their last visit.
In order to look for gum disease, the gum tissue is measured with a small ruler to measure the pocket depth between the tooth and connective tissue.
A measurement of over 4mm could indicate disease or infection. Gum disease can develop easier in deeper pockets due to the extent that plaque collects in these deep pockets. If the oral exam reveals the need for tooth scaling or root planing, these services are performed in lieu of or in addition to the routine cleaning.
Proper brushing of teeth can be done in three steps:
Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind some of it around your middle finger (3 turns). This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Shorten the length between the two fingers to 6 inches and wind some floss (1 turn) around the opposite middle finger. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers.
Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, clean the adjacent tooth surface.
As you finish cleaning each contact wind the dirty floss once around the first middle finger and slide more new length of floss to proceed to the next contact.
In order to remove plaque, tartar and calculus deposits from your teeth, a tooth scaling must occur. In some cases plaque and tartar are present below the gum line and a sub-gingival tooth scaling must occur.
After scaling the teeth, roots may need to be planed to smooth the root surface. Soft tissue will re-attach itself to a smooth tooth surface.
Dr. Cloin may also recommend medications to help control infection, pain, or to encourage healing.