top of page

Exam and Cleaning

  • Description - At Silver Tree Dental Care we are committed to helping you maintain your teeth and smile for a lifetime.  Proper maintenance will help us to catch any small problems before they become big concerns.  It is recommended that everyone have a checkup and cleaning at least every six months.  If we notice any concerns we will bring them to your attention with the proper solution to correct them.


  • Exam and cleaning process


  • Radiographs (X-rays) - Radiographs will be taken of your teeth.  This allows us to see the health of the bone below the gums, and see between the teeth where cavities are often located.  Radiographs are a necessary part of the dental exam as they can help us catch small cavities before they can cause a toothache.  Seeing where the level of the bone is relative to the tooth helps us know if there is periodontal disease, which if left untreated will eventually lead to the loss of the teeth.  Radiographs also allow us to see if any teeth are broken or missing, or there is any bone pathology.

  • Cleaning (Prophylaxis) - If the bone that supports the teeth is healthy then the Hygienist will perform a dental cleaning (prophylaxis).  This involves removing plaque (soft bacterial and food deposits) and tartar (calcified food and bacterial deposits).  Any food deposits that have become hard can only be safely removed with dental instruments.

  • Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing) -  If an individual has periodontal disease (infection causing loss of bone that supports the tooth ), then a deep cleaning is necessary.  This often involves anesthetic to numb the teeth and gums, this allows the Hygienist to clean the tartar off below the gums.  This process may involve multiple appointments to complete depending on the severity of the periodontal disease.


  • Dental exam -After the cleaning and radiographs Dr. Dickson will examine your teeth, gums and soft tissue.  Dr. Dickson will be looking for any potential dental infection.  He can also advise on any dental concerns you may have.


  • Frequently asked questions-

    • Does a dental cleaning damage my teeth?  

      • No, with proper angulation of the dental instruments there is no damage to the tooth when removing the tarter.  Hygienists  have the proper instruments and technique to care for your teeth and gums with no damage.


  • Why do I need a “deep cleaning” when I just want a regular cleaning? 

    • If there is bone loss or tartar more than 5 mm below he gums then a deep cleaning is necessary to remove all the disease causing bacteria.  A regular cleaning is not sufficient to stop the periodontal disease.

      • A regular cleaning is similar to going to the car wash weekly for a wash and vacuum.  However if your vehicle hasn't been cleaned for many years, or is really dirty, you need a more thorough, “deeper” cleaning to get it back on track.


  • Why do I need radiographs (x-rays)?

    •  Radiographs are necessary to see between the teeth and below the gums.  We really try to limit the amount of x-rays needed, but need to ensure that we don't miss anything that could become a potential problem in the future.


  • Are radiographs dangerous? - 

    • Any form of radiation is not ideal, but the benefits of imaging often outweigh the risks. A small dose of radiation can help us find small problems to prevent large ones. Below is a link that shows various x-ray producing procedures compared to the amount of naturally occurring radiation we all receive.


  • Is fluoride dangerous?

    • Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in ground water that can help the crystal structure of teeth to not break down when placed in an acidic environment. When added to toothpaste or drinking water it can make the outside surface of the tooth more resistant to decay. Just like with anything else too much may be harmful, but a little goes a long way in preventing tooth decay.

bottom of page