1901 South Washington Street, Tacoma WA 98405
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Preventive, Cleanings, and Exams
Professional Cleanings
Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:

•  Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
•  Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. (Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease.)
•  Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.

Examinations
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:

• Gum Disease screening
• Oral Cancer screening
• Visual tooth decay evaluation
• Visual gum disease examination
• Gum pocket measurement and tracking
• X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues

Regular examinations are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin

X-rays (Radiographs)
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with X-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:

• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in

In our practice, we use digital radiograph (x-ray) technology. Digital x-rays have several advantages over traditional film based X-rays in that they emit up to 90% less radiation and are ready for examination nearly instantly. Digital x-rays can be viewed on a computer screen and easily transferred between doctors for specialist referrals and communication.

With substantially lower indications of radiation, and no chemicals needed for processing, digital radiography truly is the wave of the future in safe diagnostic technology.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.

Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum-line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3ml may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.

There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
Ready to Schedule Your Appointment?

Call us today at
(253) 756-0600.

Donald E. Hearon, DDS
1901 South Washington Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
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