When you visit a dentist for the first time he will schedule you for follow-up visits every six months. During these visits he will perform a dental oral exam. This is a comprehensive exam that looks at the health of the whole mouth and not just the teeth. He will identify any issues that require care and he may even find symptoms that point towards other health problems. He will also develop a customized treatment plan to ensure that your mouth stays healthy. There are 3 steps in a dental oral examination.
Intake of your medical history
During this step the dentist will collect all information regarding your medical background. He will ask you about any medications you may be currently taking, any supplements and natural remedies you may be on, your alcohol and smoking habits, allergies, reactions to anesthesia, family members who have medical conditions, current medical conditions and recent surgeries you may have had. This step is important because it helps the dentist to identify precautions he may need to take during your dental treatments.
Here the dentist will examine all aspects of your mouth in order to identify existing problems. He will start by examining every tooth to determine whether there is decay or other problems that require attention. If you have fillings or other dental implants he will examine each of them to ensure that they are in good condition. Next, your dentist will examine your teeth to see whether they have developed tartar or plaque. It develops over time and can lead to gum recession, bleeding, halitosis and other dental problems. If the dentist determines that x-rays are necessary he will take them – they help determine whether teeth have internal damage.
Next step is to clean the teeth. The dentist will clean each tooth using different tools and also the gum area beneath each tooth. After all your teeth and gum are clean the dentist will then polish your teeth – it preserves the enamel and gives them a healthy shine. The last step requires treating your teeth with fluoride in order to strengthen the enamel.
After the cleaning process the next step is to discuss findings with you. Your dentist will tell you about any problems that he may have found in your mouth. If he has found any signs of disease he will recommend doctors who can treat you. He will also discuss further treatment plans for your teeth. Here are some other things you can expect him to talk to you about:
• He will talk to you about keeping your dental appointments every six months. If the dentist has found oral issues he will recommend that you come in more often, sometimes as frequently as every six months.
• He will talk to you about brushing and flossing at least twice a day. He will show you the proper technique and he will also talk to you about your toothbrush – what kind it should be and how often you should change it. He will offer you a new toothbrush and possibly some toothpaste.
• Your dentist will talk to you about your diet. What you eat has a direct effect on your teeth. If you like to eat junk and processed foods you are more likely to develop cavities. If you have a diet that is high in sugar you can also expect to have dental problems. Your dentist will talk to you about eating natural, healthy foods. He will also discuss what you drink as well as what you consume for snacks.
• Your doctor will talk to you about your habits. If you are smoker he will let you know that you face a bigger risk of gum disease, if you are a nail biter you risk damage to the enamel on your teeth and so on.
• He will talk to you about teeth sensitivity. After a deep cleaning most people experience sensitivity but this goes away after a few days. If it persists you should se your dentist – there are treatments available that can help reduce sensitivity.
As you can see dental examinations are thorough procedures that take time to complete. It is important that you choose a dentist who is experienced with the procedure. Make sure that they have the proper training to do a proper oral exam. You should look into their qualifications before you engage any dentist. Make sure that their offices are sanitary – there are many cases where people have contracted infections from dental procedures.
When choosing a dentist make sure that you get one who is near your home or your office – it makes it easier to keep your appointments. Because dental oral exams take a long time you should engage the services of a dentist who has ample parking. Make sure that you choose a dentist that you feel comfortable with – you will be discussing your health with them and you need to open in order to get the right treatments.
If you have children make sure to find a dentist who has a pediatric dentist in his staff. They are trained and specially equipped to deal with children’s dental treatments.