The Dawson/Pankey philosophy of complete dentistry starts with a thorough oral exam. Our goal of the initial exam is to co discover with you all of the factors that contribute to the deterioration of your oral health and to determine the best method to eliminate each factor. The two main causes of breakdown are bacterial plaque and excess stress. To make your mouth healthy and keep it healthy we must have your mouth clean and reduce stresses. These are the dentist’s responsibilities, and keeping your mouth clean and reporting any uneven stresses are the patients’ responsibility.
During the initial exam we may take radiographs, which in our office are digital. Digital radiography is an imaging process wherein the film is replaced by an electronic sensor that captures the image. The image is then presented on a computer monitor within seconds. The image can be viewed in far greater magnification than a conventional x-ray, the brightness and contrast of the image may be altered for additional diagnostic information, and reversed and color images can be generated. Various measurements and analyses can be performed on screen with the patient’s active involvement throughout the whole process.
The digital sensors are far more sensitive to diagnostic radiation than even the fastest dental films. This means that a much lower dose of radiation is exposed to the patient when x-rays are taken when compared to conventional techniques.