Dental check-up

DENTAL CHECKUPS

General dental check ups ensure that your teeth remain healthy for years to come.

Dental checkup is something we should not delay. The team at Spring Orchid Dental recommend our patients visit our practice every six months for their dental check-up where their teeth are checked by the dentist. This way, if any issues are picked up, they are generally minor and can usually be fixed before they turn into something more serious and expensive to deal with.

This active maintenance is to prevent and reduce the amount of dental work you may need in the future.
Not only are regular dental check-ups beneficial for keeping your teeth looking good, there are also numerous overall health benefits.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REGULAR DENTAL CHECK-UPS?

Benefits of regular dental check-ups:

Prevent the build-up of plaque which causes bad breath.
Potential dental issues can be quickly identified before they progress to a more serious and painful oral concern that could require surgery or permanent treatment options.
Gum disease, which causes painful toothaches and can lead to infection of the gum and jawbone, can be prevented.
Cavities and broken fillings can be addressed. If left untreated, these can result in the need for root canals, gum surgery or the needless removal of your teeth.
Potential oral cancers can be identified which can be highly curable if treated early.

You can avoid painful Emergencies with regular dental checkups. Like many other parts of the body our teeth and gums do not repair themselves so we do have to take extra care.

At all times your comfort and happiness is our priority. General dental treatments are usually straightforward – relax and unwind as we care for your teeth with the latest techniques to keep your smile looking its best and to prevent future dental problems.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves much more than simply checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so, will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

STEPS IN A COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL EXAM

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your dental visit, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.

1. MEDICAL HISTORY REVIEW

Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.

2. ORAL CANCER SCREENING

“Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer."

Oral Cancer Exam

According to research, new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year.  Many of these cases result in the death of the patient.  The good news is that oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with an annual oral cancer exam, and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages.

Oral cancer is a pathologic process which begins with an asymptomatic stage during which the usual cancer signs may not be readily noticeable.  This makes the oral cancer examinations performed by the dentist critically important.  Oral cancers can be of varied histologic types such as teratoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma.  The most common type of oral cancer is the malignant squamous cell carcinoma.  This oral cancer type usually originates in lip and mouth tissues.

There are many different places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region in which oral cancers commonly occur, including:

  • Lips
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
  • Salivary Glands
  • Oropharyngeal Region (throat)
  • Gums
  • Face
  • Reasons for oral cancer examinations

It is important to note that around 75% of oral cancers are linked with modifiable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.  Your dentist can provide literature and education on making lifestyle changes and smoking cessation.

When oral cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, treatment is generally very effective.  Any noticeable abnormalities in the tongue, gums, mouth or surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as quickly as possible.  During the oral cancer exam, the dentist and dental hygienist will be scrutinizing the maxillofacial and oral regions carefully for signs of pathologic changes.

The following signs will be investigated during a routine oral cancer exam:

Red patches and sores– Red patches on the floor of the mouth, the front and sides of the tongue, white or pink patches which fail to heal and slow healing sores that bleed easily can be indicative of pathologic (cancerous) changes.

Leukoplakia– This is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear anywhere inside the mouth. Leukoplakia can be cancerous, or may become cancerous if treatment is not sought.

Lumps– Soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathological problems.

Oral cancer exams, diagnosis and treatment

The oral cancer examination is a completely painless process.  During the visual part of the examination, the dentist will look for abnormality and feel the face, glands and neck for unusual bumps.  Lasers which can highlight pathologic changes are also a wonderful tool for oral cancer checks.  The laser can “look” below the surface for abnormal signs and lesions which would be invisible to the naked eye.

If abnormalities, lesions, leukoplakia or lumps are apparent, the dentist will implement a diagnostic impression and treatment plan.  In the event that the initial treatment plan is ineffective, a biopsy of the area will be performed.  The biopsy includes a clinical evaluation which will identify the precise stage and grade of the oral lesion.

Oral cancer is deemed to be present when the basement membrane of the epithelium has been broken.  Malignant types of cancer can readily spread to other places in the oral and maxillofacial regions, posing additional secondary threats.  Treatment methods vary according to the precise diagnosis, but may include excision, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

During bi-annual check-ups, the dentist and hygienist will thoroughly look for changes and lesions in the mouth, but a dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screening should be performed at least once each year.

If you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer, please ask your dentist or dental hygienist.

3. PERIODONTAL EXAMINATION / GUM DISEASE EVALUATION

Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.

4. EXAMINATION OF TOOTH DECAY

All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.

5. EXAMINATION OF EXISTING RESTORATIONS

Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

6. DIAGNOSIS WITH INTRA-ORAL CAMERA

Our intra-oral digital camera enables us to easily and comfortably inspect your mouth at your regular checkups, and also lets you see what your dentist sees.

Dental Intra-oral cameras are tiny digital cameras that fit comfortably in your mouth and enable your dentist to show you an enlarged image of your teeth on a computer screen. The camera is located in the tip of the Intra oral wand and transmits real-time video for you and your dentist to review. The wand is covered with a disposable plastic sheath, similar to an electronic thermometer, to keep the procedure sterile and comfortable.

Spring Orchid Dental, perfect intra-oral images provide the ideal communication tool optimal support your next dental visit. With bright LED or halogen light sources, the intra-oral digital camera allows us to diagnose tooth ‘cracks’ that are difficult to see with the naked eye.

Our KaVo ERGOcam 5 intraoral camera creates detail images with the greatest resolution and excellent colour reproduction, delivering precise, true-to-life images with each shot, where increased vision means increased detection and more effective treatment.

7. DENTAL X RAY

“Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions."

Xray as a diagnostic tool

Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental X-rays serve as an essential diagnostic tool, providing your dentist with information that otherwise would be impossible to ascertain.

During your consultation we can also perform an x-ray to help identify any potentially harmful conditions that may be in the early stages of development, such as decay. It is essential to detect underlying issues before they become severe and complex to treat.
By assessing the health of the teeth, gums and soft tissues externally and internally with an x-ray we can ensure that your smile is healthy.

Our state of the art Digital X rays technology allows high resolution which means better image and considerably less radiation exposure. As a result we get better image and less repetition of x rays.

Dental x-rays may reveal:

Abscesses or cysts.
Bone loss.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Decay between the teeth.
Developmental abnormalities.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

OUR STATE OF THE ART DENTAL X-RAY

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Our state of the art Digital X rays technology allows high resolution which means better image and considerably less radiation exposure. As a result we get better image and less repetition of x rays.

ABOUT XRAY IMAGING

An x-ray image, or radiograph, is produced when a very small amount of radiation passes through the body and strikes a sheet of sensitive film or a detector placed on the other side of the body. The ability of x-rays to penetrate tissues and bones varies according to the composition and mass of what is being imaged. Your teeth, which contains calcium, absorbs most of the radiation and results in white images on the x-ray film. Low mass organs such as the lungs, which are filled with air, allow nearly all x-rays to pass through and strike the film or detector resulting in a black image. You will not feel any discomfort during the procedure.

DO I REALLY NEED X-RAYS? AREN’T THEY HARMFUL?

Due to advances in technology, dental X-rays deliver radiation at very low doses which is localised to the area of the dental film. Dental X-rays may be required at your first visit to our practice, if you present with an emergency dental complaint, or periodically to compare to baseline records.

Several types of dental X-rays are available, all used for different purposes. Information obtainable from such films include an overview of the jaw and jaw joint, bone levels surrounding the teeth, areas of decay or infection and, location or presence of teeth.

Are dental x-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. You will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation when you receive an x-ray. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be, you should tell your doctor or radiographer before the test is performed, as special precautions may have to be taken.

These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray. At Spring Orchid Dental, we use advanced digital x-ray equipment to ensure you are exposed to the minimum amount of radiation needed to obtain adequate images.

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

Who will perform the xrays examination?

The examination will be performed by our qualified dental staff who were trained in the taking of x-rays and other diagnostic dental images.

Are there any side effects to xrays ?

Side effects from general or dental x-rays are incredibly rare. During your examination you will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to far outweigh any potential risks from receiving such a small dose. Spring Orchid Dental have rigorous protocols to ensure that the radiation dose given is the lowest possible dose to produce diagnostic quality images.

How long will the xrays examination take?

General and dental x-rays are typically very simple procedures and most examinations would be completed within 10 – 15 minutes. In most cases you do not have to make an appointment to have a general x-ray but depending on how busy the clinic is, you may have to wait before having your examination. In some instances you may need to make an appointment for a dental x-ray.

When is the best time to have the xrays examination?

As there is little or no preparation required for general or dental x-rays they can be performed at any time during normal clinic hours.

8. DENTAL OPGS

OPG (Orthopantomogram)

Orthopantomograms, better known as OPGs provide a panoramic or wide view x-rays of the mouth which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film. It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays dentists take of individual teeth.

An OPG may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint which connects the jawbone to the head, called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. OPGs can be used for a variety of purposes from assessment of impacted wisdom teeth, checking development of teeth in children, planning of orthodontic treatment, for a general overview of the teeth and the bone which supports the teeth, and as general screening as part of your dental check‐up.

Procedure

You may be asked to remove jewellery, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the images. You will be asked to stand with your face resting on a small shelf and to bite gently on a sterile mouth piece to steady your head. It is important to stay very still while the x-ray is taken. You will not feel any discomfort during the procedure.

The scans are quick, simple, and require no preparation. The OPG rotates once around your head, taking just 10 seconds to complete the scan. All you are required to do is remain still for the duration of the scan.

SCAN RESULTS

The images are viewed and interpreted by our dentists and results can be collected 2‐3 working days after the scan, or alternatively you may take an image back to your referrer unreported. If you choose to take the image with you, a report will be sent to your doctor electronically.

Please bring any previous imaging with you on the day of your examination. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us!

OUR FULL FEATURED PANORAMIC X-RAY (OPG)

Featuring cutting-edge innovations, our orthopantomograms (OPGs) machine combines extensive diagnostic capabilities and superior image quality into powerful tool for your dental diagnosis.

Our OPG offers a wide variety of imaging programs for different radiographic needs. It also selects the correct exposure formats to minimise the radiation dose for all types of patients and diagnostic purposes.

Easy patient positioning

Open patient positioning and side entry minimise errors caused by incorrect patient positioning by allowing the operator to monitor the patient freely from both the front and side. Side entry allows easy access for all patients – standing or seated. Patient positioning is assisted by triple laser beam system, which indicates the correct anatomical positioning points.

Autofocus – for perfect panoramics every time

The unique Autofocus feature automatically positions the focal layer using a low-dose scout image of the patient’s central incisors. Landmarks in the patient’s anatomy are used to calculate placement, enabling practically error-free patient positioning and dramatically reducing the need for retakes. The result is the perfect panoramic image, every time.

Optimal imaging programs

Child mode for optimal paediatric imaging

In child mode, the imaging area and exposure values are reduced in all programs and also the focal layer can be narrowed in the panoramic program. The patient dose is reduced remarkably.

OUR 3D SKULL CHARTING

Delivering world’s best 3D dental clinical charting technology.

At Spring Orchid Dental, our 3D skull charting technology takes notation and recording to a totally new level and with life like graphics. Now our dentists can notate not just the teeth, but the gums, tongue, cheek – in fact our dentists now can write notes of observations over all of the mouth. This means more precise communication with specialists on all facets of the health of your mouth. Also, the easily recordable, accessible and detailed account of your oral health gives you peace of mind. Patient friendly graphics where you can see the treatment plan in a way that makes sense to you and assists in your own understanding of your dental needs and care requirements. A leap forward in dental practice innovation.

9. GUM CHECKUP

Gum checkup is very essential for your better oral health.

Gums are the foundation of teeth along with bone. Healthy Gums are essential for healthy teeth for life.
Gum disease affects most people at some stage in their life. it can be detrimental for your teeth.
The two stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontists.

CAUSES

Poor Oral hygiene
Crooked teeth
Dentures
Medical conditions such as diabetes
Gum diseases
Dry Mouth
Abscess
Soft tissue Infections
Some medications

FAMILY HISTORY

Gum Disease have family link as well so if any of your family members have gum disease or lost their teeth at early age you may be at risk too. Get your gums and teeth assessed to prevent or early intervention of gum diseases.

Medical Link: researches have shown that people suffering from some medical conditions are more prone to Gum disease.

Diabetes is one of main culprit. However if your Diabetes under control, oral hygiene is good and you are having regular checkups and professional clean you are at reduced risk.

SIGNS

Swollen, Bleeding gums, pain on chewing or brushing, Hot and cold sensitivity, loose teeth, Bad breath.

Bad Breath: can be embarrassing. Most of the people suffering from bad breath are not aware of their conditions. It can be a really good indicator of underlying Gum disease.

Careful and regular check up and cleaning can help prevent gum disease.
Getting treatment early can help save teeth that are at risk from gum disease and other problems.

Feel free to contact us to discuss further or more information.

11. PREVENTIVE PROCEDURES

FISSURE SEALANT

Fissure sealant is to protect our natural teeth from decay. Our natural teeth have grooves and fissures on biting surfaces. Decay can start in these deep grooves.

Tooth brush bristles do not reach the deepest part of pits and fissures. This can lead to tooth decay. Children and adolescent are most vulnerable. A pit and fissure is more likely to decay compared to other tooth surfaces.

Prevention is better than cure so protecting teeth with sealant prevents tooth decay in future. Fissure sealant fills deeper fissure and grooves making them less vulnerable to decay and creating physical barrier to stop food and bacteria from reaching the most vulnerable parts of your tooth.

Fissure sealant procedure is noninvasive, easy, comfortable and pain free.

Regular 6 month checkups ensure ongoing maintenance and vigilance on loss of fissure sealant and decay. A lost sealant can be easily replaced.

Please contact us to book a consult and discuss more about fissure sealant to make sure your little ones teeth are protected against tooth decay.

SCALE & POLISH

– PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANING

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

– SCALE & POLISH

Scale and polish involve regular removal of tartar and calculus helps in preventing tooth decay and gum diseases.

At Spring Orchid Dental with regular checkups we aim to provide:

Thorough removal of calculus and plaque
Oral hygiene instructions

FLUORIDE TREATMENT

Researchers have shown that fluoride helps in strengthening enamel and reduces decay in oral cavity.
Fluoride is applied usually after regular scale and polish visit.

– FLUORIDE APPLICATION

Fluoride application varies with individual’s requirements. Depending on individual needs especially high risk patient we may have to repeat procedure often.
Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.

– FLUORIDE WORKS IN TWO WAYS

1. TOPICAL FLUORIDE
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

2. SYSTEMIC FLUORIDE

Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums. We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician. Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years. It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:

Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications.
Recent history of dental decay.
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay!

It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

12. ORAL HYGIENE RECOMMENDATIONS

Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).

13. REVIEW DIETARY HABITS

Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health. Please talk to our dentists to discuss any concern you may have with your diet.