A dental exam is a checkup for your teeth and gums, and is very important for protecting your oral health. Oral health problems can become severe, painful, and costly if not treated promptly. When it comes to receiving a dental exam, dentists and dental hygienists work in conjunction with one another to provide optimal results efficiently. A dentist is a doctor trained in caring for a patient’s teeth and gums, while a dental hygienist is a healthcare professional that is trained in cleaning teeth and helping patients maintain oral health practices.
The purpose of dental exams are to examine teeth for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues as soon as they arise, since they are easier to treat if detected early. In addition, dental exams help educate patients in caring for their teeth and gums to prevent any serious issues from occurring.
Most adults and children should receive a dental exam every six months. However, if you have swollen or bleeding gums, otherwise known as gingivitis, or any other gum disease, then you should see your dentist more often. For patients who have gum disease, we encourage them to come in at least three or four times a year. When patients come see us for an exam when they should, it can help prevent a serious gum disease from occurring, which is called periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum disease that can lead to a serious infection and tooth loss.
With that being said, we strongly encourage patients to take full advantage of preventive measures to help avoid any serious oral health issues from occurring. However, if they do, then it is best that your dentist catches the problem early on, as opposed to later down the line.
During a dental exam, you should expect a cleaning from your dental hygienist, as well as x-rays on some visits, and a checkup by the dentist. During the cleaning, the hygienist will clean your teeth using small, metal instruments. Then your teeth will be scraped to remove plaque and tartar. It is important that plaque and tartar is removed, because plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth. Once it builds up, then it turns into tartar, which is a hard mineral deposit that can become trapped at the bottom of your teeth. Then, your teeth will be flossed and brushed with a special electric toothbrush. Fluoride may be placed onto your teeth, which prevents tooth decay. However, it is important to know that fluoride is more often given to children than adults. The last step of the cleaning process may involve your dental hygienist to give you tips on how to clean and care for your teeth.
The next step of the dental exam may involve an x-ray, which is used to check your overall oral health. X-rays help determine if there are any cavities, gum disease, bone loss, oral cancer, and other issues within your teeth and gums that may not be seen by just looking at your mouth.
During the checkup with the dentist, he or she will examine your x-rays, take a look at your teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy, check your bite, and also check for oral cancer.
If you are interested in receiving an oral exam from our experienced team at the Dental Community Clinic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to schedule an appointment. We will give you the oral care that you need.
In order for you to maintain your oral health, it is imperative that you take proper care of your gums and teeth. This includes having regular dental exams, as well as practicing proper oral health habits at home. Our team at the Dental Community Clinic has an abundance of experience in providing the best results for our patients, in a comfortable and stress-free environment. To get the results that you need, contact us today and schedule an appointment for a dental exam.