What to Expect from A Routine Dental Exam
General and preventive dentistry are the most common specialties in dentistry, catering to a variety of oral needs you may have. All the dental care services offered are geared toward establishing and maintaining excellent oral health. Even the smallest dental activities play a significant role in overall oral health wellness.
Dental exams and cleanings, for example, do not seem like a big deal to many patients. The truth, however, is that they are paramount for excelling in oral health. More so, the cleanings and exams add value to your oral cavity when performed routinely.
What Is A Dental Exam?
It is an oral service offered to examine the state of your oral cavity. Dental exams are how a dentist gathers more information about your oral health, other than what you have told him/her. Every time you go to a dentist’s office, a dental exam has to be performed, usually, before any kind of treatment is offered.
A dental examination is an in-depth check on your oral cavity, to ascertain the information you have provided regarding the state of your oral health. Only a thorough oral examination can a dentist come up with the correct diagnosis and prognosis for appropriate treatment.
What Entails A Dental Examination Procedure?
The procedure of examining your mouth happens in different phases:
- Evaluation of your medical history – this happens during the conversation you have with your dentist during the dental examination. Ideally, he/she will ask to learn about the issue that has brought you in, along with the symptoms you are experiencing. This phase also involves discussing the health problems you may have or medications you may be taking since they all impact your oral health. This phase of the examination helps the dentist know what to look for in your mouth, creating a rough picture of what your oral problem may be.
- Physical exam – after an intense conversation, your dentist will engage in a physical test. This entails looking in your mouth to examine the state of your teeth, gums, and other features. At this stage, your dentist will be looking for any physical symptoms in your oral cavity. He/she may also touch different areas of your oral cavity to check how severe infections are, or whether present thereof.
- Digital tests – they take the examination process to the next level. Usually, digital tests are used to provide detailed images of your oral cavity. These images focus on specific areas of your oral cavity, usually where the dentist has determined some anomalies during the physical exam. The detailed images allow the dentist to see beyond what the natural eyes can see. However, digital tests are not typically necessary for all dental exams. Dr. Shalini Sanku insists that digital tests are performed on a need basis, where the dental expert has a particular anomaly that needs further examination. As to matters of safety, more so in pediatric dental offices in Conway, 29526, digital tests are safe because the radiation exposure used thereof is very low. Unless there are any underlying health issues to concern you, you can rest assured that these tests are safe for all patients.
Types of Dental Examinations
They differ based on the depth of the examination process. They include the following:
- X-rays – they are conducted in digital exams. They help take pictures of your oral structure, beyond the physical features. They help expose what may be wrong with your jawbone, teeth roots, to mention a few.
- Oral cancer screening – they are tests done to screen your mouth for any precancerous cells. These tests are performed for high-risk patients regarding oral cancer. They are mostly recommended when there are underlying symptoms that might be similar to the presence of cancerous cells in the mouth.
- Dental impressions – involve taking moulds of your teeth and jaw. The impressions help create a replica of either your upper or lower jaw or sometimes both, to determine their alignment. This is particularly common at Kids First Dental Conway, for children as they transition from baby teeth to adult permanent teeth.
How Long Does A Dental Exam Take?
Depending on the number of tests you need, a dental exam can last about 45 minutes or longer. The more tests you need, the longer you will be at the dentist’s office.