Sandpoint Preventive Dental Care

Preventive Dental Care

Comprehensive Examination: The Key to Your Health

A comprehensive exam or check-up is conducted during your first visit to our practice and periodically after that. This is perhaps one of the most important appointments as it will give both you and Dr. Hull a clear picture of what your dental condition is. We want you to be fully aware of all your options as well as their associated costs to help you design a game plan that will meet both your financial and time requirements. During the exam, we are checking the following:

Decay

The presence of decay is determined with x-rays, which reveal cavities in between the teeth and under existing crowns or fillings, as well as with special new laser diagnostic instruments for clearly identifying new decay.

Gum Disease

When periodontal disease is advanced enough, the gums are swollen, red, and bleed easily. The use of x-rays and specialized instruments help us to determine the degree of bone loss.

Oral Cancer Screening

We check the gums, lips, throat, tongue, and glands for abnormalities.

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)

We check for popping, clicking, and pain in the joint or the associated muscles.

Bite & Position of Teeth

How teeth come together and function directly affects our ability to keep mouth clean and healthy.

Oral & Systemic Health

We weigh in on the priorities you have for your oral and overall health. We help design a plan the meets the needs of your priorities.

Professional Cleanings

Regular cleanings (prophys) are limited to children and adults with pocket depths less than 4mm and consist of the following:

  1. Removal of calculus (tartar), which is a mineral deposit that forms above and below the gum line. When left on the teeth for long periods, gingivitis and periodontal disease will usually be the result.
  2. Polishing removes stain and smooths teeth surfaces.
  3. When gum disease is present or if it has been sometime since your last cleaning, we typically need do to a more extensive cleaning, or we will first recommend the non-surgical protocols such as laser debridement for treating the gum disease.
  4. In the event that the disease process is too advanced, we will recommend periodontal surgery to re-establish the ability to keep the tissues healthy.

X-Rays

We begin by taking a full mouth series on all new patients using digital x-rays and lead aprons, which significantly reduces patient exposure to any radiation. X-rays are an important diagnostic tool and will be taken on every emergency. Digital X-rays require approximately 90% less radiation than conventional x-rays and give us substantially more information. The frequency for taking x-rays after the initial visit is determined by the frequency of decay and degree of periodontal disease. We also recommend that our patients have a panoramic film once every 5 years; it is generally necessary for the evaluation of wisdom teeth.

Sealants

Sealants are not restorations; they are a plastic coating placed on the 'virgin' chewing surfaces as an added preventive measure, protecting your child from getting cavities in their adult teeth. There is no need for anesthesia to do this procedure. The sealant fills the grooves that decay often gets started in.

Home Care

Mouth Rinses Recommended by Our Hygienists

Dental Floss

WaterPik

Diet & Nutrition

Your physical health plays an important role in your oral health. Medications, lifestyle choices, and physical conditions all affect your teeth and gums, which obviously involves more than just reducing or eliminating candies and soda.


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