Maintaining regular dental exams is crucial to maintaining good oral health. We recommend most patients visit our general dentistry team at least twice a year. These routine exams
Why do I need regular dental exams?
Regular dental exams are a very important component of maintaining good oral health. The American Dental Association recommends everyone visit a dentist at least once a year, but twice yearly visits are often the norm.
These visits to our general dentistry experts are important because they help us, and you, keep your oral health a priority. At these exams, we’ll clean your teeth, check for cavities and gum disease, evaluate your risk for developing any oral problems, and check for abnormalities. This is done by a physician exam, as well as X-rays and digital images.
An important piece of your oral care is education – we may discuss proper diet that can improve oral health and discuss proper oral hygiene habits that will keep your smile healthy and bright.
Oral exams are important because your oral health is very closely linked to your overall health. Did you know that symptoms for some diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, may appear in your mouth first? Or that gum disease is linked to heart disease and stroke? By keeping your mouth healthy, we can keep your body healthy.
What happens at a dental exam?
Dental exams are often relatively quick and easy, especially if you maintain regular appointments. During your exam, our dental experts will:
- Check your overall oral health and hygiene
- Check your risk for developing tooth decay, gum or bone disease
- Check your bite and identify any jaw issues
- Check if restorations or replacements may be needed
- Gently remove stains or deposits through a thorough cleaning
- Educate on proper brushing and flossing technique
- Check if fluoride treatments may be helpful
- Take X-rays and/or digital images, if needed
Your appointment will generally begin with an assessment of your oral and whole body health. Our dentist or hygienist will ask some questions, such as if you are taking any medications or have had any medical conditions appear since your last visit. This helps us understand issues that may affect your oral health. Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which can increase your chances of tooth decay, and certain medical conditions can increase your risk for gum disease.
If you have any restorations, we’ll check those to ensure they still have an ideal fit and we’ll discuss if we believe adjustment or replacement is needed.
We’ll also discuss how a proper diet can improve your oral health, and how unhealthy habits, such as smoking and tobacco use, can have a negative impact.
Your exam will also include a screening for oral cancer. Your dentist is the first line of defense against oral cancer as we are able to notice questionable signs that could indicate an issue. We’ll feel under your jaw, the sides of your neck, and examine the insides of lips and cheeks, as well as the tongue and inside of your mouth for any problematic areas.
X-rays are also important to ensuring your oral health. These provide us with a complete image of your mouth as they can show us areas we can’t see with our naked eyes during an exam.
Our dental experts will also clean and polish your teeth, taking care to gently remove any plaque or tartar build-up to ensure your smile is as bright and shiny as possible.
Dental exams also provide a time for you to ask any questions you may have about your oral health or oral hygiene routine. We are partners in your oral health, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions – we’re here to help ensure you put your best smile forward.