Dental Exams & Cleanings

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Evaluate the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Evaluate the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of teeth: All tooth surfaces will be examined for carious lesions, (also known as “decay”).
  • Examination of existing restorations: Evaluate current fillings, crowns, bridges, implants and implant restorations.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime 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.
  • 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!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

To our valued patients,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward with hope.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are designed to keep you safe and comfortable.

We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA).  We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

We’ve made a few changes to help protect our patients and staff.
For example:

  • Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • Use hand sanitizer that will be available when you enter the office.  Each patient will be asked to complete a Covid-19 screening questionnaire upon check-in, after sanitizing.
  • Our waiting room no longer offers magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • We ask that you not bring additional guests with you so we can reduce the number of people in the reception area with respect to social distancing recommendations.  If your appointment requires you have a driver, your companion will be asked to wait in the car and we will notify them when your appointment is nearing completion.
  • Air purification units have been installed in treatment rooms that create the potential for aerosols.  This is a new sound around here, you are welcome to listen to music on your own device if you would like.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 509-468-1685 or visit our website at www.childfamilydentistry.com.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Brent L. Child and Team