Dental Exams and Professional Cleanings

The American Dental Association says only about half of adults see the dentist the recommended every six months, and about one fifth of people haven’t seen their dentist in 5 years! Missing these appointments is a bad idea. Tartar starts to build up on teeth in less than 6 months. It is unavoidable no matter how diligent your home care is. As tartar builds, it starts to push under the gumline and that is the beginning of gum disease. Gum disease can cause a host of problems including pain, horrible breath, and eventual tooth loss.

We recommend that patients come in to see Dr. Comfort every six months. These regular visits are imperative for Dr. Comfort to catch problems such as gingivitis (gum irritation before gum disease) before they become a big problem.

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What is involved in a professional cleaning and exam with Dr. Comfort?

There are two parts to these appointments. First is your professional cleaning. The goal is to completely clean your teeth, take x-rays, look for decay, and monitor things such as your gums. In these cleanings, we can break off tartar that has formed, whereas you can’t do that at home.

Dental Exam Encinitas

Hygiene Cleaning

  • Remove plaque from your teeth
  • Use a dental pick to remove any built-up tartar
  • Polish your teeth with a special paste to remove stains
  • Look at the height of your gums to check for gum recession
  • Take x-rays, if you are due

The second part of your appointment is the dental exam with Dr. Comfort. The purpose of these exams is to diagnose and head off problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. For example, catching tooth decay when it first invades the enamel of your tooth is dramatically different than finding it once it has entered the interior of the tooth. Catching decay early can mean the difference between only having to place a small filling vs. needing to have a root canal to save the tooth from extraction.

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Dr. Comfort – Exam

  • Visual examination for tooth decay
  • Gum disease evaluation
  • Evaluation of existing restorations: fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Examination of x-rays to look for problems such as hidden decay, cysts, tumors, descending wisdom teeth, and other things that cannot be seen with the naked eye

If decay or gum disease is spotted, these issues may be addressed immediately or we may have you return to address the issue.