Comprehensive Oral Exam: Are performed when you come to our office as a new patient or an existing patient that hasn’t been seen in over 3 years. Our office is paperless so we chart your mouth in the computer as it is that day. For example the fillings you have, missing teeth, cavities etc. After that is completed the dental hygienist will complete a periodontal exam and go over the findings with you from those exams. Then finally, Dr. Schoepfel will do his examination and go over the findings of the hygienist and may have you back to go over your full treatment plan if necessary.
Periodic Exam: Once a year the Dr. Schoepfel will perform an exam when you are in for your cleaning, more than that if the hygienist has a concern she needs to address with the Dr. An exam is important for your oral health, in coincides with your x-rays in detecting things early.
Oral facial exam/Oral Cancer screening: This is done at least twice a year at your dental cleanings. The hygienist and dentist will check your tissue (cheeks, lips, tongue, neck) for any abnormalities. Some abnormalities include bumps or lesions which could be an early sign of oral cancer. Smokers are at higher risk for oral cancer, but it can happen to anyone. If you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary for your mouth, it is important to bring it to the hygienists/dentists attention.
Periodontal exam: This is done once a year to by your dental hygienist to detect and monitor gingivitis or periodontal disease. Read more about this under gum therapy tab.
Other Preventative treatments:
Fluoride: Typically placed on children, but not limited to adults. We use what is called a fluoride varnish. It is “painted” directly on the tooth’s surface and lasts up to 6 hours. This differs from the traditional fluoride trays in that it is easier for the patients with a gag reflex, it benefits the patient for a longer length of time and you do not have to wait to eat or drink! Fluoride is important in fighting tooth decay, but also helps with sensitivity. Patients that are more “cavity-prone” are recommended to use an Rx fluoride toothpaste. There are many over the counter products as well, such as ACT or Listerine Total Care rinse, but keep in mind it is not prescription strength.
Adult/Child Prophylaxis (teeth cleanings)
Dental cleanings involve removing plaque, calculus (tartar), and surface stain that build up over time. If the tartar buildup is allowed to accumulate it creates an environment for bacteria to grow and affect the gum tissues. The purpose of the cleaning (and polishing) is to leave your teeth feeling clean and smooth so bacteria is unable to stick to them. Regular 6 month checkups are essential for keeping your gums and teeth healthy, and catch any underlying disease early. Sometimes more frequent cleanings are recommended due to your oral health care needs.