Here at Premier Dental, we perform a comprehensive dental exam as recommended by the American Dentists Association when you visit us for the first time. Prior to recommending any dental care or treatment options, it is mandatory that we carry out a dental exam.
Definition of A Dental Exam
A dental exam is usually a preventive health care measure in which your teeth, gums, mouth tissues, bite, and general oral hygiene is investigated systematically. However, it can also be part of a treatment plan when it serves the purpose of monitoring how effective the treatment is. Put simply, it is a checkup for your teeth, gums and the other oral structures housed within your mouth. A dental exam typically includes the collection of information from you, physical assessment of your oral cavity and dental x-rays as well as other diagnostic processes.
What Purpose Does It Serve?
When done routinely, a dental exam enables us to identify cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and the risk of developing other oral health problems with the end goal of developing a unique treatment plan for you. It also helps us spot abnormalities in your face, mouth, and neck – if there are any.
What Can You Expect During A Dental Exam?
Irrespective of which kind of patient you are – long term patient or a first-time patient – there is a generally accepted procedure we follow during a dental exam. First of all, we review your medical and dental history. For first time patients, we collect information about you and your medical health by giving you a form or questionnaire to complete. This would allow us to build your medical history. Once we have identified and have familiarized ourselves with any special health conditions and issues that you might have that might affect you during the exam, such as heart disease, allergies, and medication use, we proceed with the assessment.
During the exam, we examine your teeth using a small mirror, a periodontal probe, and an explorer. We scan each tooth for cavities and note the positions of the teeth. If there are tooth fillings, we inspect the structural integrity of the fillings. We also check for crowns, dentures, and bridges and evaluate their condition. We record all this information on a tooth chart, and then we evaluate the jaw joint and your bite by having you bite down on a soft material. For your gum, we examine the gum tissue for loose teeth, bone loss, bleeding, and inflamed gums as well as other symptoms of gum disease. In addition, we screen for oral cancer by checking the entire oral cavity for irregularities and feeling the lymph nodes on your face and neck.
At times, we might request a digital radiograph if we notice extreme gum recession, abnormal tooth positioning, or loose teeth. This will help us formulate a treatment plan if we discover complex dental issues. We round up our dental exam sessions by discussing our observations with you concerning your oral health, your risk of tooth decay and gum problems as well as preventative measures to improve and safeguard your oral health.
If you’re issued a clean bill of health, we will perform basic dental cleaning. If not, we explore and discuss possible treatment options. We then conclude with scheduling an appointment for your next dental exam usually in six months if you have been certified orally healthy and have no need for further treatment.
You can visit us for a comprehensive dental exam or call us at Premier Dental at one of our three convenient locations to book a dental exam or confirm your scheduled appointment with us today!