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Dental Exams and Cleanings - What to Expect

By William Couvelis, DDS on September 22, 2016


A patient undergoing an examDid you know that attending routine dental exams and cleanings could improve your dental health and your overall health? Checking in with your dentist for an hour-long appointment every six months enables him or her to diagnose oral health problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer, in their earliest stages. Dentists can then treat dental problems conservatively and help patients maintain good dental health, which contributes to good overall health. At North Pier Dental Associates, patients can rely on Dr. William Couvelis for dental exams, restorative treatments to improve oral health, and cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance the appearance of the smile. To schedule your next dental exam and cleaning with us, contact our Chicago, IL practice today.

Digital X-rays

To begin your dental exam, we will take digital X-rays of your teeth and their supporting structures. The X-rays will help Dr. Couvelis identify any areas of concern that may require treatment. It takes about 10 minutes to take your X-rays, after which time you will be taken to one of our comfortable exam rooms.

Oral Examination

Dr. Couvelis will perform an oral examination. This will include checking each tooth for signs of cavities or wear, examining the gums for signs of periodontal pockets or recession, and checking the mouth and neck areas for signs of oral cancer. This portion of the appointment takes about 10 minutes.

Professional Cleaning

We will perform a professional cleaning to remove built up plaque and tartar. It is common for tartar to build up along the gum line, between the teeth, and on the molars because these areas are difficult to clean. The anatomical structure of some teeth can also make certain areas more difficult to clean. We will use gentle, yet effective dental tools to break up the tartar and flush it out of the mouth. To complete the cleaning, we will floss and polish your teeth. The length of the cleaning depends on the extent of cleaning that is required.

Future Oral Care Recommendations

Based on your digital X-rays, oral examination, and cleaning, we will provide you with customized oral health care recommendations. This may include at home care tips, such as flossing daily or improving your flossing or brushing in certain areas of the mouth. If you are aware of your trouble areas, you can pay more attention to them when cleaning your teeth.

If we identify any oral health problems during your exam, we will recommend treatment. Some of the most common treatments we recommend during dental exams include:

  • Dental fillings for cavities
  • Composites for abfractions
  • Custom-fit mouth guards for athletes or those that suffer from bruxism
  • Root planing and scaling for patients with gum disease or those that have skipped several dental appointments

Your dental exam is also an opportunity to speak with a dentist about the treatments you wish to undergo. Some patients want to improve the appearance of their smiles with teeth whitening or porcelain veneers. Others wish to restore their smiles with dental implant-supported restorations. Dr. Couvelis can recommend the appropriate treatment for your needs during your dental exam.

To schedule a dental exam and cleaning, contact North Pier Dental Associates today.

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