Dental Exam

Dental ExamDental Exam in Oklahoma City, OK

Why is a Dental Exam Important?

Dental exams are crucial for several reasons:

  1. Early Detection of Dental Issues: A regular dental exam can help in detecting issues such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer at an early stage when they are more manageable and less costly to treat.
  2. Prevention of Oral Diseases: Dentists can spot signs of diseases or conditions that might affect not just your oral health but your overall health. For example, symptoms of systemic diseases such as diabetes can sometimes be identified in the mouth.
  3. Maintenance of Good Oral Hygiene: A dental exam often includes a professional cleaning, which removes plaque and tartar that can’t be removed by brushing and flossing alone. This helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Advice and Education: Dentists provide personalized advice on how to maintain oral health, including tips on brushing, flossing, and diet.
  5. Long-term Cost Savings: By identifying and treating issues early, you can avoid the need for more extensive and expensive treatments later on.
  6. Detection of Other Dental Issues: Dentists can identify issues like misaligned teeth or problems with the jaw, which might require orthodontic treatment.

Regular dental check-ups, typically recommended every six months, play a vital role in maintaining oral health and overall well-being.

What Happens at a Dental Exam?

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit.  At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will perform the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

What Happens at a Dental Cleaning?

Professional Dental Cleaning Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

Ready For An Appointment?

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