Preventive Dental Care for Everyone
A standard dental examination is the fastest and easiest way to stop dental problems before they start. During an examination, your dentist looks at your teeth, gums, and mouth from top to bottom, searching for any sign of issues. An examination is usually supported by x-rays. From the time you get your first tooth, examinations should be done twice a year.
Officially called prophylaxis, dental cleanings are among the most important parts of making sure your teeth stay healthy. Cleanings eliminate plaque on the teeth, halting the decay process. This includes areas between teeth and in the back of the mouth that are hard to reach. Dental cleanings should be performed twice a year during your dental examination.
Bitewing x-rays allow your dentist to review the upper and lower back teeth in a single x-ray image. This shows how well the back teeth are aligned and helps detect decay between the teeth. They can also demonstrate the extent of bone loss if severe gum disease has taken place. These x-rays should be performed once annually.
Periapical x-rays are used when your dentist needs to see an entire tooth – from the visible crown and the tooth root all the way down to the bones that anchor it. These x-rays are great for finding dental problems below the gum line. They can be used to diagnose serious problems like cysts, abscesses, and tumors. They should be done once a year.
Full-Mouth (Panorex) X-Rays
Just as the name suggests, a panorex x-ray provides a complete diagnostic image of the whole mouth. That includes the upper and lower jaws, the temporomandibular joints of the jaw, and even the sinuses. Because it shows so much, it’s crucial in early diagnosis of dental problems. It should be performed once every three years or so starting in the early teens.
Various orthodontic appliances can be used to maintain healthy spacing of teeth or realign them to be straighter and stronger. All Smiles offers a number of ways to straighten adult teeth. Retainers and mouth guards can also help. Space maintainers are used as needed based on information obtained from dental x-rays.