We believe in being thorough with each check-up, with a comprehensive dental exam that includes these steps:
- Digital X-rays to detect decay, bone loss, tumors, cavities, cysts, and numerous other dental situations, while helping our team map tooth and root positions.
- Oral Cancer Screening—we check for signs of oral cancer in your mouth, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums. This is a painless and quick process.
- Gum Disease Screening—your hygienists will check your gums and bone around your teeth for signs of periodontal diseases. This is tested by using a periodontal probe, a tiny measuring stick, to measure the pocket depth.
- Examination for Tooth Decay—the surface of each tooth is checked for decay.
- Examination of Previous Work Done (existing restorations)—we check fillings, crowns, bridges, and any other existing dental work.
X-rays of the teeth and supporting bone and gum tissues are an important part of preventive dentistry and the diagnostic process, helping us diagnose disease and detect infection or pathology that requires attention. X-ray particles pass through bone to produce an image, showing the structure through which it passed and producing the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. Instead of conventional X-ray on film, we use digital radiography, which uses 50-70 percent less radiation. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital X-ray technology enables us to enhance the images to better diagnose any dental concerns.
Teeth can have narrow grooves or pits that accumulate plaque and are difficult to properly clean by brushing. It’s not because the person doesn’t brush, but because the grooves are too narrow to allow even one bristle into them, which can lead to cavities over time. A sealant fills in these narrow grooves and pits. Applying the sealant is a simple procedure, with Dr. DeCastecker applying a coating that seals the grooves and pits so plaque can be easily brushed off to keep teeth healthy.
For patients who suffer with sensitive teeth, we offer PreviDent® Varnish, which is a topical fluoride we apply in office for the treatment of dentinal sensitivity. The application process is quick and easy.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer can occur on the lips, inside the mouth, salivary glands, tonsils, on the back of the throat, esophagus, and the tongue and soft tissues of the mouth. We perform a basic oral cancer screening with each check-up, visually and physically examining the oral cavity and connected tissues. If there are any abnormalities discovered, we will do a more advanced oral mucosal visual enhancement exam using the Identafi® system. This technology uses different wavelengths of light to reveal abnormal tissue, such as oral cancer or premalignant dysplasia that may not be apparent to the naked eye during traditional oral exams. It provides the ability to enhance the appearance of suspicious tissue cells of the mouth, throat, tongue and tonsils.