Welcome to Nina Kumar DDS! We have convenient hours so you can visit us without missing work, and we help you make appointments that revolve around your schedule. Call or email us for details. For your first visit you can expect:
1. Fill Out Patient Paperwork
Save time for yourself. Download & fill out patient paperwork before you appointment.
2. Comprehensive Exam
- Intraoral & Extraoral Exam: Evaluation of soft & hard tissues of the oral cavity.
- Evaluation of gum health: We check for signs of gingivitis & periodontal disease.
- Evaluation of teeth: We look for cavities & other abnormalities.
- Oral Cancer Screening: We will check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, oral tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer. During an oral exam, we look over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches, mouth sores, lumps, or other abnormalities. Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths, with the great majority being noncancerous. An oral exam can't determine which sores are cancerous and which are not. If we find an unusual sore, you may go through further testing to determine its cause or referral our patients to an oral surgeon for a more detailed evaluation. The only way to definitively determine whether you have oral cancer is to remove some abnormal cells and test them for cancer in a procedure called a biopsy.
3. Digital Radiographs
Importance of X-rays: As part of our preventative armamentarium, dental x-rays are used as a diagnostic tool providing valuable information that we can not detect clinically with our instruments or eyes. Dr. Kumar uses this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and pathologies to formulate a complete an accurate treatment plan.
Our objective is to identify issues as early as possible, and without x-rays, problem areas can go undetected and likely worsen with time, inevitably this necessitates more invasive, complex, and costly procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions about Digital X-Rays
- Are dental x-rays safe? Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. We take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays which include using lead apron shields to protect the body, and as mentioned, utilization of a digital x-ray system, which also reduces the amount of radiation exposure significantly compared to traditional films.
- How often should dental x-rays be taken? The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Dr. Kumar will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and caries risk. We recommend that new patients have x-rays. Additionally, the initial x-rays provide us with a more accurate baseline for future assessments and evaluation of minor changes that could otherwise go unnoticed.
4. Dental Prophylaxis
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins or poisons that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease and should be addressed immediately.
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
5. Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride inhibits the loss of minerals from tooth enamel and encourages remineralization (strengthening areas that are weakened and beginning to develop cavities). Fluoride also affects bacteria that cause cavities, discouraging acid attacks that break down the tooth. Risk for decay is reduced even more when fluoride is combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene. Experts used to think that fluoride worked mainly by strengthening teeth while they were still developing. This meant that children were the focus of fluoridation efforts. Studies now show that topical fluoride — the kind in toothpastes, mouth rinses and fluoride treatments — helps fight decay in people of all ages, and therefore is as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.
In-office, we utilize topical fluoride, in the form of gel or foam. This is a preventative agent placed on tooth enamel that is contained in a tray and help against the teeth for up to 4 minutes. This gel/foam contains a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. These fluoride treatments offer extra protection in fighting cavities.
6. Oral Hygiene Instruction
- Brush & Floss 2 times a day
- Rinse daily. Some products we like are Crest Pro-Health™ or ACT® Rinse.
7. Developing Your Treatment Plan
The final step in the our evaluation process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by Dr. Kumar, utilizing her knowledge of all aspects of dentistry. This personalized approach provides coordinated care based on the options that are best for you.