Dental Exam

Why Have a Dental Exam?

When it comes to dental exams, the old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Having regular dental exams enables your dentist to spot potential problems early on. Checkups every six months will make sure that any issues can be right away.

But if you take good care of your teeth and don’t have any pain, why bother with a check-up?

Because many dental problems begin with no outward sign or pain. By the time you feel the pain, the situation is in the advanced stages. This includes gum disease, cavities, and even oral cancer. Advanced gum disease may harm the jawbone, and then teeth can loosen and eventually fall out.

Besides prevention, regular dental exams give you a number of positive benefits. After a dental exam, you will have fresher breath and a brighter smile.

What Happens During a Dental Exam?

Many people feel anxiety about going to the dentist. Let us know if you are feeling especially nervous when you come in and we will work with you to calm your nerves.

Sometimes just knowing what to expect calms a lot of fears. Here’s what will happen:

  • An exam. Your dental hygienist and your dentist will both conduct an exam. They will look in your mouth at your teeth and gums for signs of a problem. They may use a small mouth mirror to look at areas that aren’t easy to see. The dentist may also use a tool to investigate the area between your teeth for cavities or other problems.
  • A thorough cleaning. The hygienist will gently scrape the tartar from your teeth and then polish them with an electric brush.
  • X-rays. Sometimes your dentist will take X-rays to look even more closely for disease or decay. It is also helpful to compare current X-rays to earlier ones to see how your teeth have changed.
  • A chat. Your dentist will go over the results of the exam and the X-rays and let you know if there are any problems. If there are, he will explain all your options for treating the problem.

So what can you do during an exam? Give the dentist a list of all your current medications, tell him about any health issues you are having, and discuss any changes you’ve noticed in your mouth.

Working together, you and your dentist can keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.

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