You have your teeth cleaned every six months. Once a year bitewing x-rays are taken; every five years (or sooner), your dentist will take x-rays of all your teeth. Your dental provider will also perform a thorough dental exam during this visit. If anything does not look right on those x-rays or during that check-up, a more extensive assessment is performed.
What Goes On During a Dental Exam?
Your dental hygienist has already cleaned, polished, and flossed your teeth. Depending on your dentist’s preference, your hygienist may have delivered a brief description of what was found while teeth were being cleaned.
Before the actual dental exam, if x-rays were taken your dentist will review them.
- Questions about any changes in your health, and any concerns about your teeth and/or gums can be addressed at this time. Be honest. Identify issues you think are a problem.Your dentist has reserved this time for you; it provides a great opportunity to ask questions or inquire about things that could enhance your smile like teeth whitening or other cosmetic enhancements.
- X-rays and the actual exam are used to reveal problems like dental decay, broken or fractured teeth, receding gum tissue, or the onset of gingivitis. If found, recommendations for treatment wil be explained.
- Your dentist will look for any abnormalities in oral tissues. Any suspicious lesions will be subject to further scrutiny and a biopsy may be ordered. A small sample of tissue is taken and sent to a lab for diagnosis. If oral cancer is suspected, further treatment will ensue. Your dentist will also feel for any unusual lumps around the throat and jaws.
- A check that involves jaw movement will help determine if the patient is suffering from misalignment or problems with the temporomandibular joint. Report any clicking you may hear when chewing or discomfort in the neck, jaw, or face.
How Important Is This Exam?
It can be as simple as helping you enjoy good dental health and a great smile to a life saving act. Having healthy teeth and gums are important for good overall health as well. These few minutes during your dental visit can make a powerful difference that can save you time, money, inconvenience, and your life!
If it’s time to schedule your next exam and cleaning, contact our team at Hulen Crossing Family Dental today.