Experts recommend having a comprehensive oral exam every 3-5 years. It is essential to maintain excellent oral health and correct potential oral conditions before progressing to severe and life-threatening stages. If you’ve never had a comprehensive oral dental exam, you might be curious about what to expect.
Generally, a comprehensive oral exam is a straightforward, quick, and painless process. The first step is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. If you don’t already have a dentist, contact our dentist for comprehensive oral exams in South Hadley, MA.
What Happens During a Comprehensive Oral Exam?
When going for your appointment, make sure you wear comfortable clothing and avoid unnecessary jewelry. The exams typically involve:
Before examining your mouth, the dentist will begin by reviewing your medical history. They might ask about existing oral and health issues, medications, allergies, and lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol consumption. Make sure you answer their questions correctly without holding any information.
The dentist will examine your mouth, including your:
- Teeth – The dentist will examine your teeth for cavities, decay, chips, cracks, breaks, fractures, and discoloration. They will also examine any dental work like existing fillings, sealants, and bridges. If any problems are detected, your dentist can use procedures like dental fillings, bonding, crowns, veneers, tooth extraction, and root canal therapy to correct the problem and restore the health of your teeth.
- Periodontal exam – Your gums are a vital part of your mouth. Your dentist will examine your gums for symptoms like gum swelling, sensitivity, bleeding, bad breath, and recession. If you have gum disease, your dentist will design a treatment plan to treat and reverse it. If you don’t address gum disease on time, it’s likely to progress into severe stages, leading to complications like tooth loss, loose teeth, jawbone damage, diabetes, respiratory problems, and cancers.
- Bite Evaluation – The dentist will also examine your bite for pain, poor bite, overcrowding, misalignments, and jaw disorders. You can’t correct bite issues with orthodontic procedures like traditional braces and Invisalign.
- Aesthetics – Good oral esthetics is always a good sign of good oral health. Oral imperfections like teeth stains, overcrowding, chips, and misalignments can make you look unattractive and unhealthy.
- Dental Cleaning
Even with thorough brushing and flossing, you might fail to clean the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth thoroughly. It encourages plaque and tartar accumulation in the mouth, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease. Unfortunately, normal brushing and flossing can’t eliminate tartar.
The dentist will use a special tool to scrape off plaque and tartar build-up from your mouth, reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease. Next, the dentist will brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. Lastly, the teeth are polished to give them a natural, smooth, and brighter appearance.
Your comprehensive oral exam might also include:
- X-rays – With a visual and physical exam, your dentist can only see what’s on the tooth’s surface, gums, or jaw. For this reason, x-rays may be important to have precise imaging of the inner structure of your teeth and bones. They will help reveal underlying internal damage that isn’t visible to the naked eyes.
- Oral Cancer Screening – Your dentist will also examine your mouth for early signs of oral cancer. Early oral cancer detection is necessary for a successful, cheaper, and easier treatment. The longer oral cancer goes undetected, the more severe the side effects and the more difficult it is to treat. Your dentist will check for signs like mouth sores, unexplained bad breath, falling teeth, and pain in the mouth, throat, or ear.
- Preventive Care – If you’re at a higher risk of developing oral infections like cavities and gum disease, your dentist can recommend preventive measures like dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Contact our preventive dentist in South Hadley, MA, for dental sealants and fluoride treatment near you.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you haven’t had a comprehensive oral exam recently, it might be a good time to schedule one. Contact South Hadley Dental Group to get started today.