A dental checkup with a family dentist is one of the most important appointments to keep. The checkup is not just important for good oral health, but also for general wellbeing. This article explains what a family dentist checks for during a dental exam and checkup.
How a dental examination works according to a family dentist
For patients who have not undergone a dental exam in a while or are preparing for their first appointment, here is what one can typically expect.
A dental health review
Allergies, prescription meds, a new diet, or work schedules are all factors that can affect one’s oral hygiene and general wellbeing. Therefore, the family dentist will start with a thorough dental examination with a health review to help patients understand the factors that affect their teeth and help them realize the necessary precautions to take in order to stay healthy.
Before the dentist proceeds with a more comprehensive examination of the teeth and gums, they will examine the oral cavity and perform proper cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. The dentist will be checking for sores or swelling between and around the teeth and its supporting tissues, while carefully examining their condition.
Examination of the oral cavity
After the mouth is clean, the next step is a full dental exam. This is the stage where the dentist introduces dental mirrors. The dentist’s training, experience, and expertise come into play as they examine every structure of the oral cavity. It is not just about searching for issues with the teeth and gums but taking steps to prevent them as well. The dentist will search for every minor sign of possible gum disease, gum loss, or loose teeth, as well as any other issue that may affect oral health.
Dental tests and x-rays
If the dentist discovers any issues of note during the dental examination, additional tests will be done, x-rays may be taken if necessary, and treatments will be provided.
X-ray scans help the dentist review some of the parts of the oral cavity that are not visible to the naked eye, including the bone, jaw, and other anomalies under the visible gum line. The scan also provides a closer look at the density of the jawbone, bite alignment, and other aspects. Dental x-rays are necessary if there is any indication of oral cancer or teeth grinding. Decay between the teeth or around an old filling is hard to spot without an x-ray.
Get personalized recommendations for your oral health
For many people, a routine dental exam ends with a cleaner, brighter, and fresher smile. You have probably heard many of the usual reminders about keeping the teeth clean and healthy through proper oral health habits. Our family dentist will provide specific recommendations based on their findings during the exam to help maintain oral health and overall wellbeing.
In most cases, the dentist will recommend visiting the dental office every six months after completing treatment for any oral issue discovered. Depending on the severity of the patient’s oral health condition, the dental professional might recommend more frequent checkup appointments.