Oral Exams: Maintain Good Oral Health
Dental oral exams are an important part of maintaining good oral health. The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist for an oral exam at least every six months, but most Americans go every 12-24 months. Regular oral exams are a preventative way to detect more serious dental issues before they become worse.
Why Visit the Dentist For an Oral Exam?
An oral exam is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and clean and to detect more serious health issues. Oral exams can:
What to Expect at a Dental Oral Exam
For some, visiting the dentist can be intimidating. Knowing what to expect at your oral exam can help ease anxiety and understand the importance of a dental check-up.
1. Medical History
Dr. Sarah’s team will first ask about your medical history to know if there are any underlying or genetic issues. Next, they will seat you in the dental chair while preparing the cleaning materials. .
Dr. Sarah will check your teeth and mouth for cavities, tooth decay, or bone loss. She will also look at your gums for any signs of receding gums or gum disease. A head and neck exam, including an oral cancer screening will be completed.
3. Dental Cleaning
The dental hygienist will measure the health of your gum tissue before thoroughly cleaning your mouth and polishing your teeth. This will help eliminate any plaque and tartar that has built up, a process known as “scaling.” Your hygienist will also demonstrate proper flossing and brushing techniques and offer tips on how to maintain your oral health at home. Lastly, the dental hygienist or Dr. Sarah may provide a fluoride treatment to help prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel.
An essential part of oral exams is dental X-rays to determine if there are any issues that cannot be seen with the naked eye. X-rays can identify issues such as decay, gum disease, tumors, bone loss, infection, and cysts.
5. Treatment Plan
Dr. Sarah will discuss treatment plan options with you if she notices anything abnormal during the exam. She may schedule you back for a follow-up appointment to finalize a treatment plan and to begin treatment as needed.