Your Dental Exam
Regular dental exams are vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. During a dental exam, our dental team looks for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health conditions. Finding problems early on makes treatment more successful.
What to Expect at a Dental Exam
Let’s look at what you can expect when you sit down in our dentist’s chair here at Dakota Ridge Dental for a regular dental exam and why routine dental exams are so crucial to your overall oral and physical health.
Most dental exams follow a predictable trajectory that begins with cleaning. A dental hygienist or dental assistant cleans the teeth using tools that scrape or remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and the perimeter of your gum line. The teeth are then polished, and sometimes X-rays are taken to help our dentist find any oral health issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Next, our dentist reviews the X-rays, looking for signs of cavities or inflammation. The dentist examines your soft palette, gums, neck, and throat, looking for any abnormalities. If there are problems discovered during the exam, our dentist will schedule a follow-up visit. If our dentist finds gum disease, they may send you home with special at-home periodontal trays to treat the condition.
If a cavity is discovered during the exam, our dentist may offer to fill on the same day, if desired and time is available. If necessary, we may refer you to a specialist in Littleton, such as an oral surgeon or orthodontist, depending on the issue.
How Often Should You Schedule a Routine Dental Exam?
Your oral health determines how often our dentist may ask you to come in for a routine dental exam. The standard recommendation for routine dental exams is once each year, although some patients may need to be seen by their dentists more frequently.
For instance, if you have a dental crown, your dentist in Littleton may want to see you more often so that potential tooth decay below the crown can be ruled out. If you are at greater risk for developing gum disease due to health issues, smoking, or the use of certain medications, our dentist may recommend that you come in more often.
The Importance of Routine Dental Exams
Routine dental exams should be part of your overall oral health regimen. Dental exams:
- Prevent cavities and problems with your gums. Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove 100 percent of the plaque, which can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel and gums. Dental exams allow for early detection of any problems so that treatment outcomes are more successful.
- Protect both your oral health and your physical health. Untreated dental problems lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. In addition, researchers warn that diabetes and cardiovascular problems are more likely in people with poor dental health.
- Keep your smile healthy and bright. Staining and other issues can affect your smile over time. Polishing the teeth removes mild stains, giving you a healthier-looking smile.
- Can help detect changes in oral health. Changes in the teeth, jawbone, gums, and soft tissue can alert us to serious problems, including cancer.
Dental exams are the cornerstone of good oral health. Work with our dentist to determine the best schedule for regular dental exams to maintain your healthiest and brightest smile.
Schedule Your Dental Exam
Has it been a while since your last dental exam? Contact Dakota Ridge Dental today to schedule your dental exam with our dental professionals today.