If you’re like most people, the thought of having a dental exam is at or near the bottom of your list of priorities. However, preventive measures are an essential element of maintaining good oral health, and the first line of defense is scheduling regular dental exams. During the course of a routine dental exam, your dentist will check for issues such as the onset of tooth decay, cavities, emerging gum issues, problems with alignment, and other conditions which may negatively impact your overall oral health. Here’s what you’ll experience during a routine exam:
YOU’LL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE A MEDICAL HISTORY
Your dentist will ask you to provide a medical history for the purpose of providing you with the best possible care. For instance, if you have Type II diabetes, you may have some oral health needs specific to that condition, such as an increased possibility of developing gum disease. Your dentist will also want to know about any cardiovascular issues, existing or past cancers, and anything else that could affect decisions concerning recommended dental treatments. Naturally, your dentist will also request your dental history as well.
YOU’LL BE CHECKED FOR CAVITIES, TOOTH DECAY, AND SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE
After your medical and dental history has been provided, your dentist will ask about any existing tooth or gum pain or any other conditions that may be causing you concern. After addressing these issues, your dentist will then check for conditions such as cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Your dentist may decide to take X-rays for the purpose of identifying any underlying issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye. If anything is detected that requires treatment, your dentist will make suggestions, and the two of you will collaborate to design a course of action that works for your individual needs and preferences. You’ll also be screened for oral cancer as a part of your examination.
YOU’LL RECEIVE A PROFESSIONAL TEETH CLEANING
A dental exam also includes a thorough professional teeth cleaning, which is generally performed by a dental hygienist. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about best practices concerning oral hygiene at home. You’ll also be able to pursue cosmetic dentistry options during this time. For instance, you may want to further brighten your smile, and your dental team can advise you on which whitening procedures might be best for your particular situation. If you’ve got alignment issues, you can get more information on clear braces designed for adults, and you can also find out more about crowns and other options for improving the appearance of your smile.
Many people make the mistake of only going to see a dentist when they have oral health problems that can no longer be ignored. However, dentistry is a largely preventive practice, and many issues related to teeth and gums can be prevented or at least slowed down significantly if they are detected early enough. Regular dental checkups are essential when it comes to early detection. Keep in mind that even a tiny cavity can evolve into a major dental problem if it’s left untreated, o don’t let anxiety keep you from seeing a dentist on a regular basis.
Furthermore, there are some systemic conditions, such as Type II diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis with initial signs that show up in the mouth first. Many people have had received a head start on receiving treatment for these and other illnesses as the result of a routine visit to their dentist.
Most people need to see their dentist every six months, although your dentist may recommend a different schedule. Please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment for a dental exam.