Dental Exam

What is a Dental Exam?

A dental exam is a complete evaluation of a patient’s oral health and hygiene. During a dental exam, a qualified dentist or hygienist will examine your teeth and gums, look for signs of tooth decay and other conditions, and make suggestions for overall oral care and preventive measures. The purpose of a dental exam is to identify issues early, provide preventive treatments and information, and treat any existing problems.

Preparation for a Dental Exam

It’s always best to arrive at your appointment prepared. Before a dental exam, it’s recommended that you review your health history with the dentist so they can provide you with the best care. You should also be sure to let the dentist or hygienist know about any medications, supplements, or herbal products that you’re currently taking.

Types of Dental exams

  • Regular Exam – This type of exam is a general overview of your oral health and typically involves a visual examination and x-rays. The dentist will look for signs of decay, infection, and other issues while performing a head and neck examination and checking your bite.
  • Comprehensive Exam – A comprehensive exam is a more thorough version of a regular exam. This usually involves taking detailed x-rays and a more extensive check of your jaw and bite alignment, as well as any underlying conditions you may have.
  • Periodontal Exam – Periodontal, or gum, exams are designed to assess the health of your gums and tissues and check for signs of periodontal disease. During this type of exam, the dentist or hygienist will measure your gum pockets for signs of inflammation and check your teeth and gums for any signs of infection.

Risks and Complications

A dental exam is a safe and painless procedure. However, there are some potential risks and complications to consider. The most common complication is mouth bleeding, which can occur from aggressive brushing or flossing. In rare cases, a dental exam can also cause infection, dry socket, or pain.

Why is it Important to Get Regular Dental Exams?

Regular dental exams are one of the most important steps you can take towards protecting your oral health. Regular checkups help to identify any issues early so they can be addressed before they become serious. Additionally, dental exams provide the opportunity to discuss any potential issues with your dentist and develop a treatment plan to manage your oral health.

When Should You Get A Dental Exam?

It’s recommended that you get a dental exam every six months, although individual needs may vary. People who get regular exams tend to find that their dental problems are addressed more quickly and effectively, resulting in fewer trips to the dentist for more serious issues.