We recommend 6 monthly checkups to ensure your ongoing oral health. A routine checkup includes an examination and scaling & polishing. Your dentist will examine the health of teeth and soft tissue, including gums, lips and cheeks. A professional dental cleaning (scale and polish) removes the bacteria and plague. Over time plaque absorbs minerals in the saliva to form hardened deposits known as calculus or tartar. When left untreated the bacteria will eventually cause a number of common dental problems such as dental cavities in your teeth and gum problems, which in turn can lead to gum disease.
During your visit for preventive care your dentist may recommend an X-ray. X-rays (or radiographs) are an essential diagnostic tool, providing valuable information on what can’t be seen with the naked eye under the gums, under fillings, and in between the teeth, such as hidden dental structures, malignant or benign masses, bone loss, and cavities.
Modern digital imaging limits radiation exposure to about the same as you experience in a normal day from environmental radiation. A routine exam which may include 2 bitewings is about 0.0025 mSv, which is less than one day of natural background radiation. It is also less than the amount of radiation exposure from a short (1 – 2 hour) flight on an airplane.