Preventive Dental Care
Adult dental exam
For adults, your dentist will typically recommend a dental exam every six months, but patients with periodontal disease or other problems may need to be seen more frequently. Your checkup will consist of some or all of the following:
- A discussion of your oral and general health, including changes that have occurred since your last visit
- A visual examination of your mouth, which includes checking your jaws for bite issues and gently probing your teeth and gums with special dental instruments to look for decay and periodontal disease.
- X-rays to check for tooth and jawbone problems that are impossible to see with the naked eye.
- The use of specialized technologies, such as intraoral cameras and hand-held cavity-detection devices, to help in making diagnoses.
- An oral cancer screening, which involves visually inspecting and palpating the soft tissues inside the mouth and on the lips, face, and neck to spot abnormalities.
Adult dental cleaning
If you brush and floss as directed by your dentist, you may wonder why professional cleaning is necessary. However, even the most careful person can miss hard-to-reach areas of plaque accumulation. Over time, this sticky, bacteria-ridden substance turns into hard tartar, which can lead to periodontal disease—the primary cause of tooth loss among adults. At an adult dental cleaning, our skilled hygienist removes plaque and tartar from the teeth to prevent irritation and inflammation of gum tissues. We then polish the teeth to remove stains and create smooth surfaces that are less likely to attract plaque and irritating oral bacteria. Your family dentist tops off the cleaning procedure with a professional fluoride treatment, which strengthens the enamel to prevent tooth decay.