Dental Exams in Golden, CO
Regular twice-yearly professional cleanings and diagnostic exams from Dr. Dallas D. Kenson, and our team provide the foundation for good oral health. Beyond removing tartar and stains from your teeth, our diagnostic abilities can catch oral health issues such as gingivitis and decay before they develop into larger problems. Plus, every exam checks for oral cancer.
Here’s what we offer during these visits:
What Does my dental exam Involve?
There’s a reason we pull on your tongue, push on your glands below your jawline, and use picks to probe areas on your molars — it’s all part of catching oral health problems early. Here’s what we cover with our exams.
- Diagnostic dental X-rays — X-rays are crucial in detecting decay, possible tumors, cysts, and bone loss in the patient. X-rays also determine the position of each tooth and its root. We employ the latest technology to keep our diagnostic options at the forefront of the industry (see section below).
- Oral cancer screening — We check your gums, tissues, throat, tongue, lips, face, and neck for any signs of oral cancer. The number of patients with oral cancer as a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been growing.
- Evaluation of gum disease — We check the gums as well as the bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease. We offer periodontal therapy and gingival therapy.
- Examination of dental decay — We will examine every tooth surface for decay.
- Examination of existing dental restorations — We will check your existing dental restorations — fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers, etc. — for stability and wear.
- Screening for Sleep Apnea — With each dental exam, we will screen for signs of Sleep Apnea and discuss treatment options available at our office.
Our 6 Point Exam
- Risk Assessment:Your medical history will be reviewed and we will discuss the mouth-body connection. We may discuss how heart disease, medications, sun exposure can lead to greater risk of mouth disease.
- Head and Neck Exam: During this portion of the exam, we will screen extraorally around the head and neck and also perform an intraoral exam. We will review any concerns for cancer risk.
- Airway: The airway along with the anatomy will be examined to determine your risk for sleep apnea or other sleep breathing disorders.
- Occlusal: We will check if the joints, the muscles, and the teeth are all working in harmony. If they are not, we will often see signs of wear, chipping, and fractures. Pain may also be present.
- Restorative: With the use of x-rays, we will check in between the teeth for cavities along with an intraoral examination of the teeth for clinical signs of decay. We will also check your current restorations for openings and leakage.
- Periodontal: Probe depths will be taken which will determine if tissue has detached from the tooth. This may be caused by grinding your teeth, bacteria, or tartar in the area.
How is a professional cleaning different than home hygiene?
Our registered dental hygienists perform your professional cleanings, also known as “dental prophylaxis.” Here’s what they do:
- Calculus (tartar) removal — Calculus builds when plaque calcifies and bonds to your teeth. Our doctors will remove this during your cleaning. It is commonly found above and below the gum line and can’t be removed by tooth brushing alone. Special dental instruments are needed to completely remove tartar, breaking the bond it has formed on the tooth surface.
- Plaque removal — Plaque is a nearly invisible, sticky substance that forms on the teeth. Along with saliva and food debris, bacteria are found in plaque. Not removing plaque, and its bacteria, leads to gum inflammation, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing —This final step polishes the teeth, removing many stains and any remaining plaque remnants.
Our diagnostic capability is extensive
Our doctors use some of the most advanced technologies to X-ray and photograph your teeth to see any underlying damage that a traditional mirror examination cannot provide. Here are the tools we use to keep your teeth healthy:
Dental X-rays are beneficial in finding cavities. A panorex X-ray, or panoramic X-ray, provides a full view of the upper and lower jaws, teeth, temporomandibular (TM) joints, and sinuses. This panorex X-ray shows more of a patient’s oral cavity than a traditional X-ray can.
X-rays can be used to reveal cysts, tumors, bone irregularities, wisdom teeth and more. And, unlike with a traditional X-ray, the mandibular nerve, which is the nerve going to the lower lip, is fully visualized with a panorex X-ray. The panorex X-ray can also sometimes be able to see calcifications of the carotid artery.
The panorex X-ray machine makes a complete half circle from ear to ear, producing a complete two-dimensional representation of the entire oral cavity. This panoramic view is accomplished by rotating the X-ray film around the patient’s head for approximately twelve seconds.
Less radiation is produced by a panorex X-ray than by a traditional X-ray, and the actual taking of the panorex X-ray is more comfortable for the patient.
An intraoral camera is an advanced diagnostic tool that provides clear, detailed images of the teeth and mouth that a simple mirror examination cannot achieve. These devices have been used since the early 1990s, and are now found in up to half of all dental offices because of their many advantages.
In addition to ensuring a proper diagnosis, an intraoral camera can help a patient understand a diagnosis and recognize the benefits of any recommended treatment. The images from an intraoral camera allow a dentist to view the teeth at magnified levels, and to keep a permanent record of the teeth for comparison over time, and before and after treatment. Photo documentation of the teeth can also help speed up the insurance-claim process by providing clear-cut evidence of dental conditions.
In medicine, 3-D imaging is the process used to create images of the human body and its internal organs. This type of procedure requires a patient to sit or stand still while a machine circles the patient to record the images. Different techniques are used depending on the part of the body being examined and what variety of image is needed. For dentistry, it is used to check the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the patency of the airway. It can also be used to check for tumor or cystic formation in the jaw, as well as locating anatomical landmarks when placing implants.
What People Say About Us!
I’m so glad I’m a patient. My teeth feel great. The dental hygienists are the best I have experienced: fast, friendly, and thorough. ~ Sarah
Click here to read more reviews.
Why Should My Dental Cleaning Involved Screening For Gum Disease?
Are Gingival Therapy and Perio Therapy Non-Surgical?
How often should I have these professional cleanings and exams?
Patients should see us every six months for diagnostic examsand to assess what type of cleaning is necessary. If you have healthy gums, six month cleanings may be recommended. In the article below, you’ll see that “bad” bacteria duplicates every 42 days (see page 2). If your gums bleed, you most likely have some of this type of bacteria. This unsafe type of bacteria needs to be eliminated, which is only possible with professional cleanings. It may take several appointments along with excellent home care to remove the bacteria and prevent it from returning. Our goal is to achieve optimal oral health and that journey isn’t always the same for each individual. It is so important to maintain health if you have it, and to achieve optimal health if you don’t. Here at Golden Dental Solutions, we would love to see gum disease become a disease of the past.
What is A fluoride treatment?
Your teeth remain strong and healthy through a process known as remineralization, where minerals are added to your tooth enamel. The reverse, demineralization, occurs when acids formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth attack the enamel. Fluoride has been proven in numerous large research studies to help prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids. This is especially important for children with developing teeth, but fluoride treatments can also help adults whose teeth are prone to developing cavities.
We provide concentrated fluoride treatments. We apply a fluoride varnish to the teeth or place a tray with fluoride gel on the teeth for several minutes. Afterwards, patients need to not rinse their mouth, or eat or drink anything for 30 minutes. This allows the teeth to absorb the fluoride.
Oral Therapy Practices for Children
Our doctors encourages oral therapy for the proper growth and development of nasal breathing in children. Watch as our doctor and her daughter demonstrate some at-home techniques!
How do your exams check for oral cancer?
When we’re examining your mouth, we probe your lymph nodes under your jaw, pull on your tongue, push on various spots across your cheeks, and visually examine the inside of your mouth. We’re checking for these signs of oral cancer:
- A sore in the mouth
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- Persistent mouth pain
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils, or lining of the mouth
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Jaw pain
- Numbness of the tongue or other areas in your mouth
- Jaw swelling
- Persistent bad breath
This is another reason why twice-yearly exams are important. Our doctors can spot any signs of oral cancer early, and that’s the key to successfully treating, and beating, oral cancer.
How Can I Prepare for My Dental Exam and Cleaning?
At home, you should already be practicing proper oral hygiene to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. On the day of your exam, you should brush and floss as usual. Be sure to make a list of any dental concerns you have. Pay close attention to any issues that have developed since your last visit, and be sure to discuss them with your dentist. Also, be sure you bring your insurance card with you in case the office does not have a copy of it on file.
Are Dental Exams Covered by Insurance?
Yes, under most insurance plans, dental exams are covered under dental insurance plans. However, every insurance plan is different, so it is best to ask your insurance carrier to be sure it is covered. In some cases, you may have to meet a deductible. However, dental cleanings are considered preventative care, so usually, they are covered 100%.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Yes, dental X-rays are safe. Because the amount of radiation is low, your risk of exposure is minimal. In addition, modern-day technology also lowers your risk of exposure, as does the protective gear you wear while having X-rays performed.
Are Dental Cleanings Painful?
No, dental cleanings are not painful. Some patients dislike the scraping sensation on their teeth, however, this is not painful. Let your hygienist know if you experience pain or discomfort during your cleaning.
Schedule an Appointment