It is often the case that our oral health can affect our general health. A toothache can cause pain that prevents one from concentrating at work, eating food, or sleeping at night. At Ladera Ranch Dentistry and Orthodontics, we value your overall oral health. Part of ensuring good oral health involves maintaining good dental hygiene at home. The other part consists of periodic dental exams, an important step in avoiding invasive treatment because it recognizes dental concerns early on. It’s all about prevention, whether by regularly brushing and flossing at home, or by fixing any dental issues to keep it from escalating into a more complex case. Each of our dental exams includes the following:
Digital Radiographs (X-rays)
To provide you with the best diagnosis during your exam, we require taking at least a panoramic X-ray and a 4×2 set of X-rays, plus any additional x-rays around old crowns, restorations, root canals, or areas of concern. X-rays allow us to see the formation of tooth decay, significant bone loss, tooth and root positioning, as well as any other abnormalities. More information here.
Oral cancer screening
Every exam includes an oral cancer screening, wherein the gums, lips, tongue, neck, throat and tissues are checked for any irregularities. The panoramic X-ray helps with this screening by allowing us to see any abnormalities in the jawbone and around the sinuses.
Periodontal disease prevention
Periodontal disease is a common disease that results in the destruction of tissues that support the teeth and is usually due to inflammation or infection of the gums. Prevention of this disease can be done if it is diagnosed early and treated accordingly. Our exams include the inspection for periodontal disease by monitoring the gum and bone level around the teeth.
Caries (tooth decay, or cavities) identification
The 4×2 x-rays are crucial in detecting tooth decay. In addition, each tooth surface is checked with dental instruments to confirm any cavities that the x-rays may show.
Examination of existing restorations:
We check your current fillings, crowns, root canals, and other restorations to make sure that everything is still intact. Natural wear and tear from everyday life can cause some breaks or leaks in current restorations, and early attention to these breaks and leaks can prevent the need for more drastic treatment.