Diagnosis & Prevention

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a checkup and cleaning every six months.  Many times, this is often covered at 100% by a patient’s insurance benefit.  This is a routine visit that is scheduled for approximately 45-50 minutes. Once per year we will perform gum measurements to detect any potential deep periodontal pockets that may lead to periodontal disease, or infection.  Also once per year we will update your records with bitewing x-rays (four x-rays) to diagnose any cavities or decay that hides between teeth.  We use digital technology which reduces your exposure to radiation by 50-75% over traditional film, according to manufacturers.  You may always elect to decline dental x-rays and we at Amazing Smiles will only use them when necessary for your health and evaluation. A dental cleaning is provided by a professional and should be performed every six months to prevent periodontal disease.  If you have periodontal disease, you may be recommended for more frequent visits. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planning and polishing. Cleanings were traditionally performed by scaling (the scratching noise you typically hear) by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers or ultrasonics. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, we MAY use both electric and manual scaling methods for your dental cleanings. Many times, since we are spending so much time looking at your teeth, we have some recommendations for your home care.  Please understand that this is never a “lecture,” we just want to make sure you are educated to take care of your own mouth between visits.  We encourage questions and open dialogue. Dr. McCracken will spend time with you checking over each tooth, existing fillings, crowns, dentures or other restorations in addition to an oral cancer screening.  It is important that you mention any problems you may have had since your last visit.  A tooth that persistently catches food, causes cold or “sweets” sensitivity or is painful when flossing may be an area that needs to be addressed.  Also recurring ulcers, new bumps or a burning sensation may be a sign of a vitamin deficiency or an atypical reaction.  We hope that you’ll let us know so we can best help you.  Catching problems when they are small is much easier (and cheaper!) than when serious toothaches or lesions occur. We do all of these things; x-rays, photos, full diagnosis, to give you a total picture of your oral health.  Many times the first visit is the longest between paperwork, x-rays and full evaluation.  We will often try to give you options for dental restorations that first, give you the best long-term solution and will prevent future problems.  However, we understand that budgets can be tight and we are eager to work with you and give you an Amazing Smile!