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Dental Exam

When you first visit the dentist at Cascade Dental Care, Dr. Smith and his team will perform a comprehensive dental exam to determine your overall oral health. The dental exam will include the following:

Diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): To detect tooth decay, tumors, cysts, bone loss, as well as locate tooth and root positions

Oral cancer screening: Check the lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for signs of oral cancer

Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease

Tooth decay Inspection: All tooth surfaces will be evaluated for decay using dental instruments

Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

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Professional Dental Cleaning

At Cascade Dental Care, dental cleanings are usually performed by our Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has not been removed during regular teeth brushing and has formed a tough layer which is 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 that irritate and inflame the gums. This inflammation is an early sign of periodontal disease

Teeth polishing: Remove stains and plaque which may remain on teeth following scaling with dental instruments

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A sealant is a thin, plastic resin material which is applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75 percent of dental caries (cavities) begin in these deep grooves because cleaning debris from pits and fissures is very difficult. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Sealants can be applied quickly during a single visit to our office. Your dentist or dental hygienist will clean the teeth to be sealed and surround them with cotton to keep the area dry. A bonding agent is applied to the biting surface of the teeth to help the sealant material bond to the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. The resin sealant solution is applied to the biting surface between deep grooves. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.

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Dental X-Rays

Dental radiographs (x-rays) are a useful diagnostic tool which helps to detect oral conditions not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use x-rays to accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities which allow them to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Dental x-rays aid in the detection of:

  • Decay between the teeth
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Bone loss
  • Abscesses or cysts
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
  • Poor tooth and root positions

Early detection of dental problems can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, as well as save your teeth!

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Professional Dental Cleaning

Restorations are commonly known as fillings, and they are necessary to restore damaged teeth. When teeth are decayed, infected or broken, your dentist will use a tooth-coloured composite resin restoration, silver amalgam, or glass ionomer filling to restore the shape and function of the tooth.

Dental restorations are used to:

  • Enhance your smile
  • Fill in spaces between teeth
  • Improve or correct an improper bite
  • Prevent the loss of a tooth
  • Relieve dental pain
  • Repair damaged and decayed teeth
  • Replace missing teeth
  • Replace old dental treatments
  • Restore normal eating and chewing
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Gingival (Gum) Recession

Gingival recession, better known as receding gums, refers to the progressive loss of gum tissue. Gingival recession can be caused by pressing too firmly when brushing teeth, or can be a result of gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. As gingival recession progresses, it can result in exposure of the tooth’s root which will make teeth susceptible to hot and cold sensitivity. Regular dental check-ups will help to prevent gum recession and assess risk factors.

Signs of gingival recession:

Sensitive teeth – Excessive gingival recession causes the cementum which protects the tooth’s root to become exposed and the dentin tubules are left vulnerable to external stimuli from hot and cold

Visible roots – Severe gingival recession can expose the tooth’s root which allows bacteria to invade below the gum line

Longer-looking teeth – Individuals experiencing severe gingival recession often have a teeth that appear longer than normal, however the length of the teeth is perfectly normal, they just appear longer because so much gum tissue has been lost

Bleeding, inflammation and halitosis – These symptoms are indicators of gingivitis or periodontal disease. Bacterial infection causes the gums to become red and inflamed and eventually recede from the teeth. If left untreated tooth loss may result. When gingivitis and periodontitis remains untreated, bad breath, known as halitosis occurs

Causes of Gingival Recession

Gingival recession is a common issue for many adult and elderly patients. Gum recession can be corrected with surgical and non-surgical interventions performed to slow the progress of the recession, and prevent it from recurring in the future.

The most common causes of gingival recession are:

Aggressive tooth brushing – Brushing your teeth too rigorously with a hard-bristled toothbrush can erode the tooth enamel at the gum line, and irritate or inflame gum tissue and cause bleeding.

Poor oral hygiene – When dental plaque is not removed adequately during regular brushing and flossing, bacteria builds up and begins to affect the gum tissue. The bacterial toxins in plaque promote infection and erode the underlying jawbone.

Periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is usually the result of improper oral hygiene but can be a result of systemic diseases such as diabetes. Excess sugars in the mouth and narrowed blood vessels caused by diabetes create an ideal environment for oral bacteria to thrive. The bacterium causes an infection which progresses below the gum line and deep into the bone that supports the teeth, eventually resulting in tooth loss.

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