Dental exams are an important practice in preventative dentistry, and dentistry overall. An exam is needed before any cosmetic procedure can be administered. Before you get a root canal, veneers, or a filling, you will need a dental exam.
Dental exams are simply a thorough inspection of the mouth's different areas. A dentist examines the mouth’s soft and hard tissues including the teeth, gums, bone structure, tongue, and palette. This procedure is imperative to preventative dentistry. The exam seeks out any symptoms of preconditions of oral diseases, including oral cancer. Routine, biannual dental exams, and good oral hygiene work hand in hand to prevent oral disease. A large number of people will only visit the dentist when they have severe oral pain.
Oral pain can have many root causes, it's hard to be sure without a dental exam. It can come from dental caries, oral tumors, lesions on the gum, or even chronic diseases such as diabetes and lupus. Neglected tooth decay can lead to root abscesses and may necessitate a root canal. Factors compromising your oral health will compromise your health overall and should never be ignored.
How Often Do You Need a Dental Exam?
How often you should get a dental exam largely depends on your current oral health and any preexisting conditions. These factors can vary widely from person to person. During an initial dental exam as a new patient, your dentist will use information assessed during the examination to determine your overall oral health. This information will be used to determine the date of your next check up, and whether or not you need a treatment plan.
What Happens in a Dental Exam?
Dental exams are performed by a general dentist or oral hygienist. An initial dental exam begins with a medical history intake. A medical history intake is a series of questions regarding any outstanding allergies you may have, treatments you have undergone in the past, medications you may currently be taking or have taken, and inquiries about specific lifestyle habits regarding your mouth such as smoking or chewing tobacco, consumption of alcohol, and drug use. Your general dentist is required to ask these questions, they will inquire if you have any medical conditions for which you are currently undergoing treatment.
Using information from the intake, your dentist will be able to rule out which conditions to look for and what treatments to administer or avoid. After intake, your dentist will look for caries, gingivitis, or recession. You will receive an oral cancer screening, and the soft tissues of your mouth and jaw will be inspected for tumors and lesions. X-rays are used to view your teeth’s supporting bone structures, see the alignment of your teeth, and spot any abscesses in your tooth's root. After you’ve had a full mouth x-ray your dentist will only need to perform spot checks in the future. Following a routine exam, you will have a dental cleaning. A dental cleaning will be performed by your dentist or an oral hygienist. If you are a new or returning patient with us at Schnierow Dental Care, schedule a dental exam with us today by calling (424) 383-5005.