Routine dental exams are the most efficient way of identifying abnormalities in the mouth and preventing potential issues from growing in size and severity. However, many people don’t understand the benefits of routine oral exams or feel anxious because they don’t know what to expect during a typical dental check-up. Here’s what you can expect on your next routine dental exam. Do you want to be treated right? A full exam and X-rays is the key to your full treatment plan.
What Is A Dental Exam?
A dental exam is designed to determine your mouth’s overall health and hygiene. The exam evaluates your risk for tooth and root decay, gum and bone disease, and checks for jaw issues.
Why Should You Have Regular Dental Exams?
Regular visits to the dentist will help diagnose a problem early and can prevent the need for these invasive dental procedures. Some of the issues that can be detected early during a dental checkup include tooth decay, cavities, gum diseases, and oral cancer. Identifying and dealing with these problems early enough not only increase chances of successful treatment but also help save a lot of money in the long run.
What To Expect During A Dental Exam & A Routine Cleaning?
- Assess your need for fluoride and tooth restoration or replacement.
- Remove stains and deposits from your teeth.
- Demonstrate the proper methods for cleaning teeth and dentures at home.
- Take X-Rays of your teeth
You will also be asked about medical history and medications so that we can determine if they will have any interactions with your overall oral health. For example, diabetic patients are at higher risk for gum disease due to medications that leave the mouth dry and promote tooth decay. Another example is arthritis, where we can also show you how a toothbrush inserted into a rubber ball or powered toothbrushes can facilitate in making brushing your teeth more comfortable if you suffer from arthritis. In addition to a standard dental exam, we may also check for signs of oral cancer by feeling around the areas under your jaw, around the sides of your neck, and inside your lips and cheeks for any abnormalities. We’ll also look at the sides of your tongue, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
Dental x-rays are essential for uncovering dental problems that may not be visible to the human eye. There are a few different methods for x-raying your mouth to check the condition of your teeth and gums.
What Kind Of X-Rays?
- Bitewing x-ray – Examines the entire upper or lower arrays of teeth. You bite down on a film holder while the images are taken; this film holder prevents x-rays from getting images of anything beyond the row of teeth being photographed. These x-rays are commonly performed during checkups and exams to detect cavities between teeth.
- Periapical x-ray – Looks at a particular tooth and the surrounding bone. They help find issues below the gum line, like abscesses or cysts.
- Occlusal x-ray – Shows how your upper and lower teeth fit together. This imaging can find extra teeth or teeth that have not broken the gum line.
- Panoramic x-ray – Gets a wide view of your whole mouth. This won’t find cavities, but can check for cysts, infections, fractures, and impacted teeth.
- Cephalometric x-ray is similar to a panoramic x-ray, in that it has the capability of capturing a full view of your skull and neck. A difference is that it is captured using a side-to-side sweeping motion, instead of the full 360 degree non-stop motion used in panoramic x-rays.
- Dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a special type of x-ray to produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan.
Do you want to be treated right? A full exam and X-rays are the key to your full treatment plan.
Call us for more information.
MyDentalTampa.com wants to make you smile.
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