Dental Exam and Checkup
Let’s have a look under the hood.
Good dental health is all about prevention! Regular dental check ups can detect oral disease and cavities in their earliest stages, sometimes preventing them altogether. Once you arrive for your check up, you’ll first meet with the dental hygienist. Your hygienist will examine your teeth and gums and talk with you about any changes in your overall health or medications you are taking. Your teeth will be cleaned and polished, and you’ll have a chance to ask any questions that you have. After the hygienist is finished, your dentist will perform a second exam to check for signs of oral disease or cancer.
Some of the things we look for in your oral exam:
- Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your over all health and also your dental health.
- Examination of X-rays: Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums for any sings of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
- Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.
You can ask us any questions you have about your mouth, no matter how small or insignificant you think they may be—the check up is your time to talk candidly with your dentist. We’ll also provide you with helpful information you can use to maintain a good dental health routine at home. If we discover any oral health issues or problems during your check up, we’ll make treatment recommendations based on your specific needs. Then we’ll work together to develop a treatment plan that’s ideal for you.
Children and adults should schedule regular dental check ups, about once every six months. Those at a higher risk for oral disease, such as those who use tobacco and alcohol, should come in more often. If you have questions or think you may be at risk, get in touch with us today—we will work together to define a preventative plan that’s right for you.