Dr. Sequeira believes, along with the medical community, that preventive dental care is essential to your overall health. From all the research we’ve seen on the mouth-body health connection, we’ve learned a lot. If you make sure to get regular dental exams, cleanings and practice good care at home, you’ll have a great foundation for lifelong health. If you have questions about home care or cleanings, please call us. Or, talk to Dr. Sequeira on your next visit. She’ll be glad to help.
Having your teeth regularly cleaned by one of Dr. Sequeira’s hygienists is just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using the latest tools and techniques, we’ll help keep your smile bright and your mouth clean and healthy. Here’s what you can expect.
- We’ll carefully and gently remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of your teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
- We’ll also remove tartar from the surface of your teeth. (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.)
- And lastly, we’ll also polish your teeth to remove any surface stains.
Dr. Sequeira believes strongly that regular exams help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help us catch problems when they’re still small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse. That can mean extensive, expensive procedures. Dental exams at our Northeast Portland dental practice 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
Digital X-rays (Radiographs)
X-rays are a primary tool that help us to identify — early — any dental problems. By using X-rays, Dr. Sequeira can spot problems before they become bigger problems. Which saves you money.
Our team uses digital x-rays. We use digital for a few reasons. They emit up to 90% less radiation. They’re ready to look at almost right away, they can be viewed by you and Dr. Sequeira together on a computer screen. And, they’re greener — no chemicals for processing.
We use sealants to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of permanent back teeth. The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If this trapped food is left in place, bacteria will likely multiply. That in turn causes tooth decay which requires costly attention.
We paint the sealants directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves. This approach helps prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they’re not forever. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before they need to be replaced.
This is a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Please note — sealants don’t replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for roughly 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 both caused by bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum-line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration continues, “pockets” form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque and tartar. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds and destroy the bone that holds the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can be kept under control with proper personal home care and regular visits to Dr. Sequeira’s office.