Boise Dental Exam

A Dental Exam is the First Step to a Healthy Smile

People can be more diligent about changing the oil in their cars than keeping their regular bi-annual dental exam and professional cleanings.  That’s a shame because for most people good home hygiene coupled with a regular professional dental check up and cleanings could be all they’d really need. Good hygiene usually heads off issues such as

  • gum disease
  • teeth extractions
  • root canals

Why is this? Frequent check ups with the team at Centennial Dental allows us to spot issues such as decay. With early detection, we can help you long before anything more than a filling would be required. We can also see signs of gingivitis before it evolves into gum disease. If you need a dental exam, contact our Boise office, and our helpful staff is ready to help you today.

a close up of a woman's face as boise family dental care is performed

Why Visit the Dentist Twice a Year?

Patients sometimes wonder why they need to have their teeth checked and professionally cleaned twice each year. It’s not an arbitrary number. Six months is about the length of time it takes plaque to harden into tartar to a degree in your mouth that it should be removed. While brushing and flossing remove plaque every day, that same plaque hardens into tartar if you don’t brush enough and also in some places such as the inside of your lower teeth (where everyone builds up tartar). Tartar can only be removed by a professional hygienist using dental picks. When you get beyond six months, tartar can begin to creep under your gumline, and that spells the beginning of gum disease.

What's Involved

Your twice-yearly visit usually takes around one hour. Here’s what we do in these appointments at Centennial Dental:

a picture of a patient and dentist looking at an x ray of a mouth

We Take X-rays

We like to take digital x-rays once each year. These can reveal cavities between your teeth, the health of your jawbone, and the alignment of the teeth (particularly important for children). Our digital x-rays have very low radiation compared to film x-rays and they can be enlarged easily to look at areas of concern.

We’ll Check Your Mouth

Before Dr. Koeltl sees you, your hygienist examines your mouth. He or she will first look for signs of tooth decay and any areas of softening enamel. This is an early sign of decay. Next will come measurements of the pockets around your teeth. These measurements tell us if your gums are receding and whether gum disease is causing bone loss. Finally, your bite will be evaluated. Again, this check is important for children with rapidly developing teeth.

We’ll Screen for Oral Cancer

Both your hygienist and Dr. Koeltl will check for signs of oral cancer during your check up. We’ll examine your head, neck, and lips, along with your mouth tissues including your tongue. This is when we pull on your tongue, push on your glands below your jawline, all of that. The reason we do this is simple —oral cancer treatment is very successful IF it is caught early.

We’ll Scale and Clean Your Teeth

We’ll scale your teeth, which means we’ll use picks and other dental tools to remove all of the tartar that has formed on your teeth. We’ll then polish your teeth with a special gritty paste that removes stains and polishes the enamel. See our dental cleaning page to learn more.

woman smiling in dentist chair
child smiling in a dentist chair while the dentist prepares to perform a cleaning

We May Apply Fluoride

If we’re dealing with our younger patients, our final step during a exam will be to apply fluoride, long proven to effectively protect teeth.

Do You Have More Questions About Our Dental Exams?