La Mesa Dental Examinations for Optimal Oral Care

Clean, healthy teeth and gums play an important role in a person’s overall health and well-being. Damaged or lost teeth can make chewing difficult and impair digestion, while gum disease can open the door to serious bacterial infections and other health problems. That’s why dental team emphasizes the necessity — and benefits — of regular La Mesa dental examinations. Dr. Ben Mandel can help you preserve your teeth and protect your mouth for many years to come.

After talking with the doctor briefly about your diet and nutrition and finding out what your goals are for your dental health long term, we like to take the pH of your saliva. This gives us a clue into your susceptibility to getting tooth decay. We have found that patients who experience frequent decay often have a low pH (meaning more acidic) saliva. This can be from medications, drinks, foods, or smoking. Once we help you identify what may be causing the decay, it allows you to be able to have better lasting restorations that will hold up in your mouth.

The first order of business when our clinic performs La Mesa dental examinations is to inspect the oral cavity. This involves checking each tooth for possible cavities or other problems, both above and below the gum line. To accomplish this, we employ a combination of dental x-rays, visual inspection, and a laser to check for cavities.

Dental x-rays are taken of all four quadrants of the mouth, allowing us to see signs of decay, damage or infection invisible to the naked eye. The probe gives us the ability to “feel” irregularities in the tooth enamel, and irregularities of a certain depth indicate decay. Tooth decay or damage must be detected and treated as early as possible so we can make the appropriate repairs more quickly and easily. A small cavity can be treated with a routine filling, but if the cavity grows unmanageably large, the decay can reach into the inner parts of the tooth. At this point, our dentist may have to administer a root canal and crown, a considerably more involved and expensive procedure, to treat a problem that could have been resolved more easily thanks to earlier detection.

To assist with our visual exam, Dr. Ben Mandel uses an intra-oral camera and a special light to check for cracks and fractures in teeth or fillings and display patient’s teeth on an overhead monitor – magnified 28x. This allows us to inspect all surfaces of your teeth very thoroughly. Dr. Mandel also uses state of the art lasers to detect cavities.

La Mesa Dental Examinations at Ben Mandel DDS

Our La Mesa dentist also checks for gum disease, a serious threat to the state of a patient’s oral and systemic health. Gum disease begins when collections of food and saliva form plaque around the teeth and underneath the gum line. This plaque hardens into a substance called tartar, which is difficult to remove without professional dental cleaning. Bacteria use tartar as a food source and eat their way into the periodontal pockets. The results include receding or loose teeth, bleeding gums, and abscesses. Bacteria can even leak into the bloodstream and attack other parts of the body.

We can perform professional cleanings in the course of our dental examinations to do away with stubborn tartar. If gum disease has already begun, we can schedule other treatments to restore oral health. Another critical aspect of our La Mesa dental examinations is checking for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer can spread rapidly, so early detection is paramount. Smoking and alcohol can increase the risk for this disease, but anyone can get it, so for that reason alone these examinations can prove a lifesaver.

We encourage our friends in La Mesa, El Cajon, and Spring Valley to have dental examinations twice per year. Contact our office for more information or to schedule your appointment with us.