A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Bunker at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, both Dr. Bunker and his hygienist will include the following:
Examination of diagnostic digital x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by our Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments. Calculus can cause serious periodontal problems if left untreated. Even
using the best brushing and flossing homecare techniques, it can be
impossible to remove debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling. It’s hard to feel confident about a smile marred by yellowing,
stained teeth. Prophylaxis can rid the teeth of unsightly stains and
return the smile to its former glory.
– Periodontal disease is often signified by persistent bad breath
(halitosis). Bad breath is generally caused by a combination of
rotting food particles below the gum line, possible gangrene stemming
from gum infection, and periodontal problems. The removal of plaque,
calculus and bacteria noticeably improves breath and alleviates
of health issues – Many health problems first present themselves to the
dentist. Since prophylaxis involves a thorough examination of the
entire oral cavity, Dr. Bunker and his hygiene team are able to screen for oral cancer,
evaluate the risk of periodontitis and often spot signs of medical
problems like diabetes and kidney problems. Recommendations can also
be provided for altering the home care regimen.
What does prophylaxis treatment involve?
Prophylaxis is generally performed in several stages:
Supragingival cleaning – The hygienist will thoroughly clean the area above the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and calculus.
– This is the most important step for patients with periodontal disease
because the hygienist is able to remove calculus from the gum pockets and
beneath the gum line.
- This is the smoothing of the tooth root by the hygienist to eliminate
any remaining bacteria. These bacteria are extremely dangerous to
periodontitis sufferers, so eliminating them is one of the top
priorities of the dentist.
- Following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic or antimicrobial
cream is often placed in the gum pockets. These creams promote fast
and healthy healing in the pockets and help ease discomfort.
X-ray and examination
– Routine X-rays can be extremely revealing when it comes to
periodontal disease. X-rays show the extent of bone and gum recession,
and also aid in identifying areas which may need future
is recommended twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be
performed every 3-4 months on periodontitis sufferers. Though gum
disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the tools
that the Carmel Mountain Dentistry team can use to effectively halt its destructive progress.