Regular dental exams are essential for overall dental health. It is an important way to detect potential issues with your teeth, gums, and jaw, and it can help prevent more severe oral health problems. The primary goal of a dental exam is to identify and diagnose any potential oral problems before they become more severe. Dentists recommend people get dental examinations every six months. During a dental exam, your Eric R Koch, DDS dentist checks for dental issues, recommends treatments and educates you on how to care for your oral structures. Dental examinations involve various steps, which include:
Visual teeth, gums, and jaw examination
Teeth, gums, and jaw examination is often the first step during dental exams. Your dentist uses a metal probe with an angled mirror to observe your teeth for signs of cavities. The dentist will also check if you have gum problems like swelling, redness, or sores. To check for jaw issues, your provider will feel your jawbones as you bite down to ensure your bite is aligned and you have no clicking from the joints. The provider will also check for jaw clenching signs like worn grooves of the teeth. The provider will recommend suitable treatment if your doctor detects any teeth, gum, or jaw problem.
X-rays help your dentist detect problems that may not be seen during visual inspection. They allow your dentist to see below the surface of your teeth and gums. An x-ray can help detect jaw and tooth root issues and gum infections, including gingivitis.
Oral cancer screening
Oral cancer is a severe problem. It is very hard to notice the early stages of oral cancer, so your dentists will look out for signs of mouth or throat cancer during a dental exam. These signs include lesions, sores, ulcers, unexplained bleeding, and blocked salivary glands. Early detection of oral cancer can help to effective treatment.
Professional teeth cleaning and polishing
Professional teeth cleaning and polishing involve eliminating tartar and plaque accumulating on your teeth and gums. When plaque stays on your teeth and gums for a prolonged period, it turns into tartar. You cannot remove tartar through normal brushing and flossing. Your dentist can only eliminate it through professional cleaning. Tartar is a good environment for acid-producing bacteria and gives your teeth a yellow tint; hence, regular teeth cleaning is essential.
During a teeth cleaning, your dentist uses special tools to scrape plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth and above and below your gum line. The dentist then thoroughly flosses your teeth. After plaque and tartar are eliminated, the provider uses a spinning polisher that is mildly abrasive to eradicate any remaining debris. The polishing also gives your teeth a shiny and smooth finish, brightening your smile and dental look.
After a dental examination, your dentist will educate you on proper dental care. These guidelines may involve correct brushing and flossing and eat healthy. Avoiding smoking can also help prevent dental issues and other health conditions.
A dental examination helps your dentist diagnose potential oral issues and provide treatment to prevent future complications. It may involve visual dental inspections, oral cancer screening, teeth cleaning, and preventive measures. Schedule an appointment at Advanced Dental Care of East Texas for a dental examination to improve your oral health.