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Dental Exams in Steinbach

Comprehensive Oral Exam (COE)

Every new patient to our office will begin with a Comprehensive Oral Exam by one our Registered Dental Hygienists and a Dentist. As an existing patient at our office, you will have a comprehensive oral exam every 3-5 years based on your oral health needs.

Your hygienist’s diagnostic portion of the exam includes: capturing radiographic images, digital images, an oral cancer screening, bite assessment, and a thorough gum assessment measuring all gum pockets. Your dental hygienist will then explain their findings and show you all areas of concern on your x-rays.

Your dentist’s portion of the exam includes: looking for decay/cavities, infection, broken teeth, wear on teeth, teeth positioning, signs of cancer, suspicious growths/lesions, and gum health. Your dentist will examine all your diagnostic images, and combine that with their clinical exam to create a treatment plan best suited to your oral health needs.

Your dentist will discuss their findings with you, as well as options for the recommended treatment for each condition. Our dentists reserve this time specifically to meet with you, and discuss your concerns so please feel free to discuss any areas of concern with your dentist at this time. We all want to make the experience as comfortable for you as possible, and if you let us know your concerns, we can work with you to address them.

After your exam you will have time to meet with our treatment coordinator, who will be able to further discuss the care plan created for you, as well as answer any financial questions that you may have.

How long will my comprehensive oral exam take?
The appointment takes approximately 90 minutes. This allows enough time for the dental team to completely assess all of your concerns, and to create a treatment plan based on your individual needs.

Oral Cancer Screening

Your oral cancer screening is part of your Comprehensive Oral Exam and it includes looking for abnormal lesions on the lips, tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks, under the tongue, and oropharynx (back of the mouth, throat and tonsils). It is important to learn to be able to recognize the normal healthy conditions of your own mouth this allows you to be able to recognize changes or abnormal conditions in your mouth.

Digital Radiographs

Why digital x-rays are safer than conventional film and why you should get them?

  • Hanover Dental only uses digital x-rays which are the lowest in radiation
  • The average 4 dental x-rays are comparable to radiation from 4 hours in natural sunlight
  • Show us what is under the gums and the root of the tooth
  • Helps find cavities before they start to hurt us
  • Allows us to find abnormalities in the jaw bone and teeth that can cause harm
  • Saves you money to fix small problems now and not large problems later

Preventive Hygiene Therapy

Preventive therapy is also known as your professional dental cleaning. At your appointment, your hygienist will complete the following as needed:

  • Assessing the overall health of your mouth
  • Measuring of periodontal pockets (space between your tooth and gums)
  • Determining health of supporting structures of the teeth (bone, gums, ligaments)
  • Diagnosis of gum disease
  • Radiographs
  • Intra oral photos
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Discussion of your treatment needs, based on presence or absence of gum disease
  • Scaling to remove the soft and hard deposits from above and below the gum line
  • Teeth polishing
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Nutritional counselling
  • Smoking cessation
  • Oral hygiene instruction
  • Discussing correlation between mouth condition and its effect on the rest of the body

Click here for more information about Preventive Therapy from the Canadian Dental Association.

Dental Exams

The dental exam is not just a quick check of the hygienist’s work. The dentist actually has a checklist of items to look at and diagnose. Many of these are things you cannot see on your own, but that your dentist is trained to detect.

Here are some of what your dentist is looking for during your dental exam:

  • Decay, infection, missing, broken or impacted teeth
  • Early stage cavities
  • Assessing previous dental work, including root canals, fillings and crowns
  • Detecting early signs of mouth and throat cancer
  • Noting suspicious growths, cysts or lesions
  • Checking for signs of wear on the teeth, indicating clenching or grinding
  • Teeth positioning, including spacing and bite
  • Determining the overall health and function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Working alongside your dental hygienist to determine gum condition
  • Making note of any signs of gum disease (periodontal pockets, inflammation, bleeding and redness) which can lead to bone and tooth loss

The dental exam can catch problems early—before you see or feel them—when they are much easier and less expensive to treat.

Click here for more information about Dental Exams from the Canadian Dental Association.