Cleanings and Exams
Twice a year, patients should visit Dr. Mina Levi for a dental examination. The comprehensive exam is performed by our dentist for new patients to fully access the oral health of the patient. Periodontal examinations are encouraged following this initial appointment to maintain the patient's oral health and wellness over the years. At the practice of Dr. Mina Levi, we make our patients' health and wellness a top priority, so we include the following with each regular exam:
Examination of Digital X-Rays
During the first part of the examination, Dr. Mina Levi examines the patientís most recent x-rays to evaluate the current condition of the jawbone, teeth, and gum tissue past what can be seen during a physical evaluation. This can help in diagnosing bone loss, tooth decay, and visualizing tooth positioning. We take full mouth x-rays with digital technology every five years, and annually we perform peri-apical and bitewing x-rays to monitor tooth health.
Evaluation of Gums
The condition of the gum tissue is also evaluated by Dr. Mina Levi to check and measure periodontal pockets. These are pockets that develop between the teeth and gums, called gum recessions, that may indicate the presence of gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontitis. A measurement of 1-3mm indicates health gums.
Evaluation of Tooth Decay
Evaluating the smile for possible tooth decay is done with digital x-rays and a physical evaluation. Our dentist will look for signs of decay, fracturing, and other indications that further problems exist in the smile.
When the examination is complete, Dr. Mina Levi will discuss with patients an individualized treatment plan based on what was discovered. If there is a diagnosis of periodontal disease, treatment options are laid out and patients can plan their treatment based on overall priority. Oral health issues should be the first priority, while cosmetic concerns are not as immediate of a concern.
Along with biannual examinations, patients can also obtain prophylaxis, or a professional dental cleaning. Our patients may also benefit from scaling and root planing, sometimes referred to as a deeper cleaning of the teeth and gums. Routine cleanings are performed for those with healthy gums that are free from periodontal disease, while scaling and root planing is an effective treatment option for those with periodontitis. The depth reached is what differs between the two. Deep cleaning procedures require local anesthetic with Oraqix, and patients may return a few months later for another cleaning until the infection is treated. Local antibiotics may also be used, such as Arestin, to address infections in the mouth. Cleanings include:
Removing Tartar (Calculus) and Plaque
Calculus, or tartar, is a hardened plaque that can be caused by plaque being left on the surfaces of the teeth for a long time. These are removed manually or with Ultrasonic tools which may spray water to clean the teeth.
Once cleaning is completed and the surfaces of the teeth are free from plaque and calculus, patients can have stained removed from their teeth with polishing. Teeth whitening services may also be offered, such as the Zoom Whitening procedure, for patients who want a brilliant, beautiful smile and are interested in addressing deep, dark stains on the surfaces of the teeth.