Dental X-Rays and Exams
Dental X-Rays and regular dental exams are essential in preserving natural dentition as they help identify the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions. Enough has already been said about the importance of regular dental check-ups at least twice a year, and we cannot stress it more. The onus is on the individual to take care of their oral health by taking all necessary preventive measures. At Harborn Dental, we offer regular dental exams, cleanings, dental X-Rays and exams in Mississauga to take care of your oral health. Adopting these preventive measures will help you avoid serious and costly dental problems in the future and maintain a confident and beautiful smile.
You can take care of your oral health at home by taking good care of your oral hygiene and eating a balanced diet. At Harborn Dental, our dentists and dental hygienists take all measures to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
Harborn Dental offers digital X-Ray services to examine the health of your teeth. These X-Rays are helpful as they can help identify virtually any problem or disorder. They provide the highest level of accuracy as they are programmed for magnification, colorization, and measurement. The dental images can be magnified 1800x. These digital radiographs are vital as they increase the dentist’s diagnostic capability tremendously. They help identify:
Cysts or abscesses in your mouth
Any bone loss
Any abnormal growth
Poor root positions
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Digital radiographs are taken by exposing a small sensor or plate in your mouth. This sensor feeds the image of your teeth or bone into a computer. Digital X-Rays expose you to far less radiation than traditional X-Rays. They also do not require any developing equipment or chemicals. Hence, they are suitable for the environment too.
The need for dental X-Rays is different for each patient, depending on the health needs and dental history. The dentists at Harborn Dental will first review your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age, and risk for disease and then recommend an X-Ray.
We usually recommend a full mouth X-Ray for new patients, which is suitable for three to five years. Our dentists recommend taking bitewing X-Rays once or twice a year. Biteviewinf X-Rays are X-Rays of top and bottom teeth biting together.
The most common X-Rays used for orthodontic treatment planning are cephalometric X-Rays. It is a unique tool that enables the dentists to capture a complete radiographic image of the side of your face. Another feature of a cephalometric X-Ray is that it is extraoral. That means the dentist does not need to insert a plate or sensor inside the patient’s mouth to capture the image. Cephalometric X-Rays are also used by ENT specialists as they can also display the nasal and sinus passages clearly.
Undergoing a cephalometric X-Ray is a pretty simple process. The X-Ray technician positions your head according to the part of the mouth that needs to be captured. The exposure time is hardly 10 seconds and the X-Ray is developed within five to six minutes. Body positioning is critical for the clarity and sharpness of the images. The X-Ray images are usually magnified up to 30%, so it is easy for the dentists to identify any signs of decay, disease, or injury. Harborn Dental is equipped to take a cephalometric X-Ray, if required. We believe in our patient’s comfort and do not want them running to imaging centres for getting the X-Rays done.
These X-Rays helps the dentist:
Calculate how the patient's jaw and surrounding bone will be affected by orthodontic treatment
Understand the growth pattern of the jaw and teeth
Determine potential courses of action and routes of treatment
Dentists prefer taking cephalometric X-Rays intermittently throughout orthodontic treatment. Some dentists also work by taking a preliminary ceph, then a final ceph when treatment is completed.
Panoramic X-Rays are commonly performed by dentists and oral surgeons in everyday practice to plan treatment for dentures, braces, extractions and implants. It doesn't need any special preparation. Before taking the X-Ray, it is important that you tell your dentist if there is a possible pregnancy. You are required to remove any piece of jewellery, eyeglasses or metal objects as these might interfere with the X-Ray images. The X-Ray technician will ask you to wear a lead apron. This is done to protect the rest of the area of your body from radiation exposure.
It is a two-dimensional (2-D) dental X-Ray examination that is used to capture the entire mouth in a single image. It captures your teeth, upper and lower jaws, surrounding structures and tissue all in one image. It produces a flat image of the curved jaw, providing details of the bones and teeth, making it easier for the dentist to examine it.
A panoramic X-Ray can help in revealing:
Any advanced periodontal disease
Cysts or abscesses in your mouth or jaw bone
Tumours in jaw
If you have questions or concerns about panoramic X-Rays, please contact us.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by our dentist at your initial dental visit. At the end of the exam, a treatment plan specifically tailored to your condition will be made for you.
At regular check-up visits, both our dentist and hygienist will perform the following:
Examination of Diagnostic X-Rays (Radiographs): Check for decay, tumours, cysts, and bone loss. X-Rays also help to determine tooth and root positions.
Oral Cancer Screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum Disease Evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
Examination for Tooth Decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay with special dental instruments.
Examination of Existing Restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Harborn Dental provides a safe and clean environment. We meet or exceed all guidelines set forth by the Canadian Dental Association and the Centre for Disease Control.
In these days of concern about the spread of contagious diseases, we want you to know that patient protection is the top priority in our office. We’re doing everything within our capabilities to assure the sterility and safety of our working environment. By following the guidelines, as well as continually reviewing updates on infection control materials and techniques, we are optimizing our ability to achieve this in our office. Our commitment is to provide you with the same standards that we expect and demand for our own families and ourselves.
Between each patient, the treatment rooms are thoroughly wiped with a surface disinfectant. The instruments are put through a system of ultrasonic scrubbing (the same system that a jeweller might use to clean fine jewelry) and then sterilized with a large, pressurized steam oven called an autoclave. The instruments are packaged in such a fashion that ensures they are never touched before actual set-up in the treatment room, and when the instruments are touched, it is with gloved hands. All of our handpieces (drills) are also thoroughly wiped with the surface disinfectant and then sterilized in a pressured steam oven. All of our prophy angles (cleaning and polishing instruments) are disposable so that you and your family can be assured that you will always have a fresh one every time you have your teeth cleaned. We use disposable products whenever possible to eliminate cross-infection.
Our autoclave is checked on a monthly basis by an independent company for sterilization efficiency. It is certified to be working correctly for patient safety and peace of mind. It also meets the Canadian Dental Association standard.
Oral Cancer Exams
According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. More than 7,000 of these cases result in the death of the patient. The good news is that oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with an annual oral cancer exam and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages.
Oral cancer is a pathologic process that begins with an asymptomatic stage during which the usual cancer signs may not be readily noticeable. This makes the oral cancer examinations performed by the dentist critically important. Oral cancers can be of varied histologic types, such as teratoma, adenocarcinoma, and melanoma. The most common type of oral cancer is malignant squamous cell carcinoma. This oral cancer type usually originates in lip and mouth tissues.
The oral cancer examination is a completely painless process. During the visual part of the examination, we’ll look for any abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Lasers that can highlight pathologic changes are also a wonderful tool for oral cancer checks. The laser allows us to look below the surface for abnormal signs and lesions that would be invisible to the naked eye.
If abnormalities, lesions, leukoplakia, or lumps are apparent, our team will implement a diagnostic impression and treatment plan. In the event that the initial treatment plan is ineffective, a biopsy of the area will be performed. The biopsy includes a clinical evaluation, which will identify the precise stage and grade of the oral lesion.
The following signs will be investigated during a routine oral cancer exam:
Red Patches and Sores
Red patches on the mouth, the front and sides of the tongue, white or pink patches that fail to heal and slow healing sores that bleed easily can indicate pathologic (cancerous) changes.
It is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear anywhere inside the mouth. Leukoplakia can be cancerous, or may become cancerous if treatment is not sought.
It is important to note that around 75 percent of oral cancers are linked with modifiable behaviours, such as smoking, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Our dentist can provide you with literature and education on making lifestyle changes and smoking cessation.
When oral cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, treatment is generally very effective. Any noticeable abnormalities in the tongue, gums, mouth, or the surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as quickly as possible. During the oral cancer exam, both your dentist and dental hygienist will be scrutinizing the maxillofacial and oral regions carefully for signs of pathologic changes.
There are many different places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region in which oral cancers commonly occur, including:
Oropharyngeal region (throat)