Dental Hygienist are licensed oral health professionals who focus on preventing and treating oral diseases-both to protect the teeth and gums , and also to protect the total health of patients’. They are graduates of accredited dental hygiene education programs. They must take a written national board examination and a clinical examination before they are licensed to practice. The Dental Hygienist in our practice all graduated from the Medical College of Georgia with their Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. They are required by law to obtain continuing education hours yearly. We attend classes throughout the year to ensure that we are staying up to date with any changes in our field. A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Weaver at your initial visit. At regular check-up exams, Dr. Weaver and your hygienist will perform the following:
Medical History Review:
This helps us stay informed about any new medications and any illnesses that may impact your dental health
Examination of diagnostic radiographs (x-rays):
Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, infections and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth root and positions.
Oral cancer screening:
The lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums are checked for any signs of oral cancer.
Evaluation of the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease and bone loss.
Detection of tooth decay:
All tooth surfaces are checked for decay with special instruments.
Examination of existing restorations:
Existing restorations are checked for any breakdown or defects.
A small camera that we use to maneuver throughout the mouth and project images onto a computer screen. This allows us to be better informed when making treatment decisions with out patients.
Dental prophylaxis (cleaning):
Performed by the Dental Hygienist and will include the following:
- 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 inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease.
- Removal of Calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Polishing: The removal of stain that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
- Dental education: Patients are educated on proper oral hygiene habits and techniques to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.