Oral Health Maintenance Program
A preventive program is a cooperative effort between the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural teeth and tooth-supporting structures by preventing the onset, progression, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.
Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, maintain, and restore your oral health.
This prevention program includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive tools that can help protect teeth.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by the dentist during your initial visit.
Once you become a returning patient, your dentist will perform regular “recall” or “check-up” exams”. At those appointments, your dentist and hygienist will perform the following tasks:
Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): X-rays are essential for detection of decay, tumours, cysts, and bone loss. They can also help us determine tooth and root positions. They allow us to see into areas our eyes cannot, increasing our diagnostic abilities.
Oral cancer screening: We routinely check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer and pathologies of any kind.
Gum disease evaluation: We check your gums and the bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal disease or signs that may point to future problems.
Examination of teeth: All of your tooth surfaces will be checked for decay, cracks and other problems, with special dental instruments.
Examination of existing restorations: We will examine the condition of all current fillings, crowns, etc.
Dental X-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information that is not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Teeth don’t have an early warning system, so without X-rays, problem areas can go undetected.
Dental X-rays can reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumours.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental X-rays safe?
Even though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those X-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
The need for dental X-rays depends one each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary X-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
A full mouth series of dental X-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.