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Dental Exams & Cleanings

Overview

Although maintaining good oral hygiene at home is essential, it is important to regularly visit the dentist every 6 months for a comprehensive dental exam.

This simple and critical part of preventative health care is performed by a dentist who can detect and address the earliest signs of oral health issues. During an examination, a dentist or a dental hygienist will clean your teeth and check your mouth for any cavities and signs of gum disease. Although each exam is different, we start by reviewing your concerns, dental chart, and medical history.

It is also important to remember that dental care providers allow most dental insurance policies to receive a regular dental exam every 6 months.

Why Are Dental Exams performed?Patient who needs a dental exam

A dental examination is performed to detect and address the earliest signs of oral health issues that arise from plaque, tartar, and other bacteria that cause tooth decay.

A professional cleaning is performed to clean your teeth as well. During the oral exam, the dentist is checking your teeth, soft tissue, the color and contours of your gums, diagnosing any sores or lesions on your mouth, and providing an oral cancer screening. An examination is important because neglecting treatment can lead to much more serious dental problems, or even a dental emergency, such as-

  • Infected teeth

  • Tooth loss and tooth decay

  • Receding gum tissue

  • Bone loss

  • Other oral health issue

What Happens During a Routine Dental Exam?Teeth Cleaning

Each visit will be different based on the patient situation, but generally a routine dental exam includes several steps.

We begin by reviewing the patient dental chart, and medical history so we can determine the most appropriate care. The comprehensive exam includes a teeth cleaning as well. This enables the dentist or hygienist to clearly see the condition of the patients teeth and gums and to remove the plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Once everything has been removed, the dental professional will polish the teeth to smooth their surfaces and remove any light stains. The dental checkup will conclude with a comprehensive exam of your mouth.

During the exam the dentist checks for tooth decay on the biting surfaces, signs of wear, cracks, or other problems with restorations such as fillings and crowns, as well as any abnormal loss of tooth structure.

Other conditions cannot be as easily seen, so we often must take X-rays. X-rays show us tooth decay between and inside the teeth and tartar on the teeth and tooth root. X-rays also show us signs of periodontal disease, such bone loss.

When the dental cleaning and examination are complete, the dentist may alert the patient of any  oral health problems and may then explain an additional dental treatment the patient should take to avoid any future dental health issues.

At the end of each dental visit, our office will schedule your next dental appointment to ensure each patient is on-track to achieve healthy teeth and a healthy smile.


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