11 Jul What Happens at a Dental Examination?
What are dentists checking for at a regular dental checkup?
At a dental examination your dentist will check your medical history and ask you if you have any dental problems. He/she will also ask you about your previous dental history and whether you have any concerns or worries.
If you have any cosmetic concerns, you will be given the opportunity to discuss these and you may be asked to complete a smile questionnaire.
The dentist will usually start with the extraoral examination.
The extraoral examination involves feeling around your neck down to the collar bone and up behind your ears. The purpose of this is to check for any lumps or bumps and asymmetry that might require further investigation and is part of the oral cancer check that is done at every dental examination.
The dentist will then check the tissues inside your mouth and will check your gums by gently probing with a specialised periodontal probe to check for pockets and bleeding.
The dentist will then examine your teeth to check for decay, chips or cracks and any faulty fillings or crowns. They will also check your bite and discuss any cosmetic concerns that you may have.
If it is your first examination, the dentist will usually take some x-rays to look for decay and the bone levels to assess for gum disease.
The dentist may also use an intraoral camera to take photographs of your teeth, gums, and other tissues in your mouth. Intraoral photos are also a very useful way of monitoring changes.
The dentist will also note any abnormal tooth wear or other signs of tooth surface loss.
After the examination:
After the examination is completed, the dentist will discuss the findings with you and advise you whether you need further treatment. If your treatment is more complex, the dentist may send you your treatment options and then book a follow up review consultation to discuss these.
You will be given the opportunity to ask questions about your treatment options and given an estimate for the costs of the treatment.
You will also be given advice on how to care for your oral health. This will include advice on cleaning and diet.
If there are signs that you may be grinding or clenching your teeth your dentist may recommend treatment for this to prevent further damage.
Why is it important to have regular dental check-ups?
- Oral cancer checks can be done – early detection of oral cancer is crucial to give the best chance for a cure.
- Early detection of gum disease – effective treatment is much easier when gum disease is diagnosed and treated early
- Early detection of decay- this will enable treatment to be kept minimally invasive.
- Advice on how to clean your teeth, diet, and prevention of oral disease.
- It saves money – when decay is allowed to spread through a tooth, this can often lead to the need for more expensive treatments to be carried out such as root canal treatment and crowns. If teeth need to be extracted, the replacement options such as implants, bridges and dentures can be much more expensive than treating the teeth early.
If you wish to make an appointment or talk to our team about the process of a dental examination, please call 01722 346501 for a chat or to book your next dental check-up at Salisbury dentists Twenty Twenty Dental.