Reasons for Oral Exams
Regular checkups ensure that problems can be caught early and treated conservatively, saving you time, money, and pain. If allowed to advance, these problems with your teeth or gums can spread beyond your mouth and affect your general health, causing problems in other areas of your body. Visiting your dentist regularly will help you maintain your overall well-being
At your first office visit, your dentist will start by reviewing your medical and dental history with you. At each checkup, be sure to let your dentist know if you have any change to your medications or health to ensure that you continue to receive dental care tailored to your unique needs. Do not be afraid to tell your dentist if you have experienced anxiety over dental visits in the past so that he or she can present you with different options for making you comfortable during exams and treatments.
Your dentist will obtain images of your teeth and jaws at your first appointment. Dental X-rays can help detect cavities, tooth eruption issues or bone loss in the jaws.
During a Visual Exam the doctor is looking for:
- Cavities: Using a tool to gently touch all tooth surfaces, your dentist can detect soft spots that may indicate decay.
- Periodontal Disease: Your dentist will use an instrument to measure the spaces between your gums and teeth to determine if gum disease is present.
- Oral Cancer: Affecting the lips, throat, head, neck and soft tissues inside the mouth, oral cancer has a high cure rate if caught early. Your dentist will visually inspect these areas for unusual sores, lumps or rough patches and palpate them to determine if swelling or tenderness is present.
- Jaw and Bite Issues: A misaligned bite and teeth grinding can cause problems with your teeth and jaws, including pain in the jaw joints and TMJ disorder.
After the exam, the dentist will thoroughly discuss your recommended treatment and answer any questions you may have. You will be aware of all options and prices before any treatment is performed.