You may be wondering why an x-ray may be necessary during a teeth cleaning appointment with the dentist. The truth is, x-rays allow dentists to look beyond the surface and see what is invisible to the naked eyes. This article covers the importance of x-rays and other important points that are worth knowing.X-rays involve taking…
What Does a Dentist Check For During a Dental Exam?
A dental exam is a process or a type of visit to check for any signs of poor oral health or cosmetic concerns. Dental exams are encouraged for all patients, two or three times a year, regardless of the current status of oral health. Learning what is involved in a dental exam can help prepare for the upcoming visit.
The purpose of a dental exam for optimal long-term oral health
During a dental exam with a general dentist, the health of the teeth, gums, jaw, bone, soft palate and throat are all checked. If any issues are detected, the general dentist can put together a treatment plan to address the concerns, or refer the patient to a dental professional or general health professional that would be able to assist them better.
Damaged, decayed and impacted teeth
One of the first things that a dentist does during a dental examination is to thoroughly inspect the health of the patient’s teeth. They will check every tooth for damage (chips, cracks, etc.), decay or impaction (not fully emerged). The dentist may also order dental X-rays to check for any issues towards the tooth root. If there are concerns, the dentist can treat the damage or decay on the same visit or during a follow-up visit.
Gum, jaw and bone examination
Gum disease is another condition that is important for dentists to check for during a dental exam. The signs of gum disease include discolored, swollen, tender and bleeding gums. Deep gum pockets and gum recession are a sign of a more severe case of gum disease known as periodontitis. The dentist may also check the jaw and bone health with dental X-rays.
A review of teeth and jaw positioning
The dentist also checks for orthodontic concerns, which refers to the alignment of teeth and the jaw. They check for underbites, overbites, crossbites and other potential issues with jaw alignment, along with crooked, crowded and spaced teeth.
Early signs of oral cancer
Another major reason that dental exams are important is that they often allow for the early detection of oral cancer. While it is not a replacement for oral cancer screenings, the dentist does look to see if there are any tumors that may be present and can take additional diagnostic steps, if necessary.
Cosmetic dental concerns
The dentist also looks for any cosmetic issues during a dental exam that the patient may want to address. This includes but is not limited to teeth stains, short teeth, misshapen teeth or a gummy smile. While these issues are not necessarily problematic, some patients are interested in addressing them to improve the appearance of their smile.
Schedule a dental exam with our dental office today
Our dental office offers comprehensive dental examinations to patients of all ages. During your visit, we are glad to address any concerns you may have, answer questions and put together a treatment plan to help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Exam in Greensboro, NC.
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