Dental Exams

Regular dental exams are a crucial part of preventative dentistry because they allow your dentist to address dental problems in their early stages, and to identify serious problems. Most people need an exam every six months, but your dentist may recommend more frequent visits depending on your circumstances.

Why do I need dental exams?

Dental problems tend to get worse when left untreated. When your see your dentist for regular visits, small problems won’t have a chance to become major concerns. For instance, the longer tooth decay goes unchecked the more damage it can do to a tooth, and the less of the original tooth that can be saved. Good hygiene and dental visits are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings. Routine exams also give you the best chance for early detection and treatment of serious oral problems.

What happens during a routine dental exam?

Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. The dental hygienist will first give your teeth a thorough cleaning. Then your dentist will review the x-rays, and if necessary take new ones. Your dentist will make a visual inspection of the inside of your mouth, and may use instruments like a long handled mirror, and a dental explorer. If all is healthy, your gums will be firm and pink, and your teeth won’t have any soft, rough or discolored surfaces. Your dentist will recommend treatment for any signs of decay or other problems, and make notes on any conditions that deserve observation on the next visit.

How often do I need exams?

Many adults require exams every six months. If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup or gum disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent appointments.

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