Cleaning & Protection


Dental Exam | Dental Cleaning | Dental X-rays | Oral Cancer Screening

Dental Exam


When you arrive for your first visit, please be prepared to complete all insurance and health information forms that will allow us to begin your dental treatment. We will ask you to fill out several forms that will get you acquainted with our office.

Your initial exam will last approximately one hour. Dr. Spekhardt or Dr. Lukas will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, specifically looking for any potential problems. During the exam, Dr. Spekhardt or Dr. Lukas will look for dental decay and gum disease, and will evaluate any existing dental work such as fillings and crowns. We will also perform an oral cancer screening to check for any signs of cancer in the face, tongue, throat and gums.

Depending on the patient, X-rays may be taken. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, Dr. Spekhardt or Dr. Lukas will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that may need future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth. In most cases, we will also clean your teeth on this visit.

Dental Cleaning

Dr. Spekhardt and Dr. Lukas recommend that you receive two routine dental cleanings a year. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. Periodontal scaling and root planing may also be performed if periodontal disease is present.

We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.

If you are due for your dental cleaning, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

Dental X-rays

A dental X-ray provides important information for dentists that may not be apparent during an examination. X-rays are essential in developing a treatment plan because they can detect problems that might otherwise go undetected – causing serious problems in the future. An X-ray can reveal many things about your mouth and teeth, including decay between teeth, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems, periodontal bone loss, cancerous tumors and teeth that have not erupted.

While many dental practices today are using digital X-rays, we have found that traditional X-rays are safe. They produce a very low level of radiation, especially when precautions are taken – such as using lead apron shields to protect patients when X-rays are taken.

The frequency in which we take dental X-rays depends on your dental health. For new patients, we do recommend a full mouth X-ray which will be good for up to five years.

Oral Cancer Screening

During your routine cleaning and exam, we are now offering an oral cancer screening, using a device called the VELscope®. During the screening, your hygienist will use the VELscope® handpiece to shine a safe, visible blue light into your mouth. This light will excite the oral tissue and cause it to fluoresce. Any areas considered to be suspicious by the hygienist and Dr. Spekhardt or Dr. Lukas will be investigated further.

Oral cancer is on the rise, in groups that were not previously considered "at-risk", specifically non-tobacco users and those under age 40. Health care professionals recommend annual oral cancer screenings for all adults 18 and over. For those that use tobacco products, once every six months is recommended. Some insurance companies have begun to cover this service as part of regular preventative treatment. Please feel free to call our office and we would be happy to check with your specific dental insurance plan to determine if an oral cancer screening is covered.