When you come into our office for your semi-annual checkup, or Dr. Michael Piccione will perform a comprehensive, tooth-by-tooth exam to help identify potential issues early in order to provide the most conservative treatment possible. They’ll look at your x-rays to detect decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss related to periodontal disease or missing teeth. By capturing these in-depth images annually, we can also identify the positions of the teeth and their roots. An oral cancer screening is also performed, as well as a gum disease evaluation and thorough exam for tooth decay. We’ll also check in on your existing dental work — like current fillings, crowns, and any prosthetics. If issues are present, we will put together a plan for restorative treatment to be performed as soon as possible.
One of our registered dental hygienists will perform a thorough dental cleaning during your preventive appointment. In addition to the exam, your hygienist will also gently remove calculus (tartar) and plaque that have had the time to build up since your last visit to our office. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth; when it is not thoroughly removed at night and throughout the day, it hardens into tartar/calculus, which forms above and below the gum line. It can only be removed with special dental instruments. Plaque and tartar are a significant cause of gum disease, so their regular removal is crucial for preventing the condition. Dental fluoride applied topically strengthens the tooth enamel to help prevent future cavities.
After we have thoroughly cleaned your teeth, we will polish them to remove anything that we didn’t get during the initial cleaning. This part is what really lets your healthy teeth shine.