An oral 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.
Our office uses the latest in digital x-ray technology. Digital x-rays offer a detailed image of your entire mouth and also deliver 90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays. X-rays play an invaluable role in the diagnosis of periodontal problems as well as provide a clear picture for Dr. Frade to accurately diagnose the problem and provide clear treatment regiments.
We place a small sensor in your mouth and then an x-ray beam is sent through your teeth and bone and onto the sensor, which records the image of your teeth and bone and sends it to the computer. The sensor can then be repositioned to capture images of other sections of your teeth and bones. The digital dental x-ray system is more sensitive than dental x-ray film systems so your exposure to x-rays is cut by 90%.
The large enhanced images that you see are what Dr. Frade sees, so it is easier for you to understand how they will treat your teeth and bones. Your periodontal checkups take less time and it is fun to watch the system work. Most patients are amazed.
Step 1 - Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush using a circular motion along the outer and inner tooth surfaces.
Step 2 - Brush each tooth individually. Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush, use the same circular motion.
Step 3 - Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor-producing bacteria.
Tooth decay, also know as dental caries, is caused by acids which are produced by bacteria in the presence of sugar. To prevent decay bacteria, sugar and acids must be periodically removed by way of brushing and flossing. Simple tips like, don't sip sugar drinks such as soda, drink the soda straight down as constant sipping is harmful. Ask Dr. Frade for other tips to prevent tooth decay.
For people without any periodontal disease, a check up and cleaning every six months is standard protocol. People who have active periodontal disease or who have been treated, should have a check up and cleaning every three months.