Dental Exams & Cleanings
At Signature Smiles, helping you to maintain your oral health is our top priority, and this begins with regularly scheduled appointments for examination, cleaning, and x-rays. We’re happy to offer this service to patients of all ages, so that your whole family can visit the same trusted dental office.
Even if you’re diligent about following an at-home regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash two or more times a day, you need professional cleanings to prevent plaque and tartar buildup in areas you can’t reach, professional examinations to catch and treat potential health issues early, and x-rays to ensure there aren’t any unseen problems like cavities taking root.
What can you expect when you visit the experienced and caring dentists and hygienists at Signature Smiles for regular examination, cleaning, and x-rays?
Your appointment will begin with a thorough examination of your mouth, including visible areas like teeth and soft tissues. Your dentist and/or hygienist will closely inspect the surface of your teeth, using dental instruments as needed, to look for visible signs of decay or other issues, and examine any prior dental work like crowns and fillings to make sure they’re in good condition.
Gums are checked for signs of periodontal disease. Also included in the visual examination is an oral cancer screening to make sure there are no signs of oral cancer in soft tissues in the mouth and throat.
Following examination, you will undergo dental cleaning, which typically involves several steps. First, your hygienist will work to remove any plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth.
Using a variety of special dental tools, our qualified professionals will scrape away sticky plaque and hardened tartar on tooth surfaces, as well as between teeth and below the gum line. These substances are often found in areas where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.
Following this cleaning, we’ll polish your teeth to remove any remaining traces of plaque, as well as eliminate surface stains on teeth. This will leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh.
You may not need x-rays during every visit, but they should be performed at least once a year to ensure that no hidden problems have arisen. Our dentists will determine the frequency of x-rays depending on the needs of each individual patient. Dental x-rays allow us to look below the surface of teeth and soft tissues in order to spot issues that might otherwise go unnoticed until you’re in pain and facing significant damage.
X-rays can uncover potential problem areas in both bone and soft tissue, including:
- Tooth decay, such as cavities
- Tooth misalignment or problematic root positioning
- Developmental anomalies
- Problems below the gum line
- Bone loss
- Cysts or abscesses
- Tumors (benign or malignant)
Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation that is considered safe, and we take precautions like using lead apron shields and fast film to minimize exposure for the benefit of every patient.