What Happens During My Dental Exam?

Posted on: February 2, 2018

Dental ExamThe average person has a general idea of what he or she should do to maintain oral health. Unfortunately, some patients believe their web sleuthing is all that is necessary for gorgeous, healthy and reliable teeth and gums. A DIY (do it yourself) approach to oral health care will eventually backfire. Your dentist’s assistance is necessary for a full dental exam.

Here is a look at what happens during dental exams and why they are essential to maintaining a healthy mouth.

The Importance of Dental Exams

Visit your dentist for a routine dental exam and he or she will pinpoint abnormalities in your mouth and stop looming issues from expanding or becoming more severe. Do not let nervousness or fear of what the dentist might find stop you from having a dental exam performed every six months. Such regular exams will dramatically reduce the chances of an invasive dental procedure. Your dentist will use the exam to diagnose the problem as soon as possible. This will prevent the need for potentially costly and/or uncomfortable dental procedures.

What the Dentist Looks for During Your Dental Exam

The dentist will start out by performing a medical history intake. You will answer some questions about your oral health. Once all of this information is recorded, the dentist will perform an in-depth examination of your mouth to determine if the early stages of tooth decay, gum disease, cavities and/or oral cancer are occurring.

The dentist will take a close look at the teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw with x-rays as well as the naked eye. X-rays are especially helpful as they detect abnormalities within the mouth that can’t be seen with a traditional inspection. The entire mouth will be x-rayed prior to a spot checking for problem spots in subsequent visits. Pinpointing and addressing oral health issues in a prompt manner is essential for successful treatment. Furthermore, this early diagnosis will save you money and time spent in the dentist’s chair.

The dentist or dental hygienist will also perform a cleaning. This cleaning eliminates tartar that forms on the teeth and below the gums. Once the tartar is scraped away, the teeth will be polished. The dentist will then provide some advice regarding flossing and brushing to maintain a healthy and beautiful mouth. Finally, the dentist will perform an oral cancer screening. He or she will take a close look at the area around the jaws and the soft tissues within the mouth to determine if the symptoms of oral cancer are present.

Dental Exam Frequency

The appropriate frequency of dental exams differs according to each patient’s unique oral health. The dentist will analyze your mouth, oral health history, and current needs when deciding the ideal frequency for dental exams. Patients who have an especially high risk for oral health issues like periodontal disease should meet with the dentist more frequently than patients who have no such problems. In general, it is prudent to visit with the dentist every six months for a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning.

Call (608) 466-4227 to schedule an appointment with Feist Siegert Dental in our Onalaska dental office.


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