My third patient today is Nina, a 28-year-old female. She reports swollen gingivae that are tender and bleed easily. She does not smoke and has no history of periodontal disease. She recently started taking an oral contraceptive. We will perform an examination and prophylaxis.
Dr. Lee to Nina: "Hi Nina. Today we will take some pictures of your mouth, and then we will examine your gums and teeth. Afterward, the dental hygienist will perform a thorough cleaning."
Because it has been more than three years since her last visit to the dentist, Nina receives a full set of dental radiographs, or x-rays, taken by the dental assistant before the examination. These radiographs can be exposed on film or can be taken digitally and then can go into the patients paperless charts. In the U.S., a dental assistant also assists during examinations and procedures according to local regulations.