A typical dental check-up has two parts. Part one, by the dental hygienist, is the taking of any X-rays that are due, teeth cleaning, polishing, plaque and tartar removal, periodontal probing, and oral hygiene instructions.
Part two, by the dentist, is the visual examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and recommendations. To gather information for Dr. Dorfman’s analysis, we use an intra-oral camera, a periodontal probe and digital X-rays.
We use the intra-oral camera to make clear, precise images of the inside of your mouth, your teeth and your gums. With these images, Dr. Dorfman can see better than is possible with a mirror and light. She can show you your pictures on a monitor and keep a permanent library of printable images.
The result of this new technology is that you understand your condition better and spend less time in the chair. In addition, very small cavities or other problems that might not be visible to the naked eye can sometimes be seen in the digital images.
An ultra-sonic scaler is a dental instrument for removing sticky plaque and hard tartar from your teeth. Previously, dental hygienists used metal dental instruments to scrape teeth. They still do some of that, but the job is made much easier on you (and on them) by the use of the ultra-sonic scaler, which breaks down the bacterial cell walls that are responsible for the stickiness of plaque.
The hygienist uses a periodontal probe to measure the depth of gum pockets and compare the new measurements to previous measurements to see if the pockets are getting deeper. If periodontal disease has already progressed, digital x-rays are used to see any loss of bone.