A general dentist would typically advise their patients to visit the dental office every six months for an examination. It allows the dentist to monitor the patient's oral health. Also, the exam helps them check whether previous oral issues are healing correctly and gives a chance to detect any new dangers to the oral cavity. This article explains what happens during a typical dental examination.
The dental examination process from a general dentist
The dental appointment usually starts with a review of the dental history of the patient and their last checkup. The dentist will ask questions about the oral care routine and if any symptoms of pain or discomfort started since their last dental appointment. A dental exam appointment at the dentist usually includes the following.
The cleaning done during an exam gives the general dentist a chance to check for cavities and detect any indication of gum disease. The patient's teeth will be cleaned thoroughly and sometimes polished. Fluoride treatment may also be included. Unless there is a sign of abnormality during the appointment, most dental checkups focus primarily on dental cleaning.
X-rays are a crucial aspect of most dental exams. They give the dentist a chance to get a close-up and detailed view of the mouth that is usually not visible to the naked eye. Digital x-rays are commonly used to reduce exposure to radiation. Knowing what is going on out of sight (the teeth, jawbone, and gums) helps the dentist recommend the best treatment and stop common oral issues before they worsen.
Oral cancer screening
Dental exams present an opportunity for an oral cancer screening. This involves examining the neck, jaw, tongue, cheeks, roof, and floor of the mouth and inside the lips to detect any early warning signs of oral cancer. Some of the signs the dentist will check for are lumps or rough spots, red or white spots, pain or inflammation, persistent sores or bleeding, and difficulty with oral functions like swallowing or chewing.
This screening is important, especially for patients who drink alcohol or smoke tobacco products. Like any cancer, oral cancer can be deadly if it is not detected and treated in time.
A review of results
Before the end of the dental exam, the dentist will sit with the patient to discuss their findings and any issue that might require another visit soon. They will also provide recommendations regarding oral hygiene routine to ensure patients take adequate care of their teeth. The aim is to provide preventive care measures to make the next appointment seamless as much as possible.
If the dentist discovers an oral issue like a cavity or decay, they will discuss the diagnosis and recommend proper treatment, including when to book the next dental visit.
Visit the dental office today
If you have not had a dental exam in a while, or are seeking a new dental office, we invite you to book an appointment for a consultation with our general dentist. The dental professional will gladly walk you through the process and get you on track to oral wellness.
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