A part of your routine dental care, along with having your teeth cleaned by an Oral Hygienist, includes having a complete dental exam performed by your dentist. It is important to be checked regularly by your dentist (at least every year or whatever is recommended based on the health of your mouth).
At each dental visit, the dental technician will review your medical history to see if there are any changes that need to be updated. It is important to let the technician know if you are on any new medications or if you were diagnosed with any medical conditions since your last dental visit.
Once you’ve discussed any medical changes you may have, the dentist will perform a visual exam of your mouth, which includes your teeth and surrounding soft tissue. He/she will check each individual tooth with an instrument called the explorer. This instrument helps the dentist detect any areas of concern on each tooth. The dentist checks for decay, stain, areas around the gum line (to check for gum recession), and the margins around any existing fillings or crowns.
• Your dentist uses a variety of methods to help diagnose any problems you may have.
This may include:
• A visual oral exam
• Dental x-rays
Most children and adults should get a regular dental cleaning and check up every six months. People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental check ups more than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check up.
Going to your regular check ups will help to keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as detect any early problems such as gum disease, oral cancer and cavities. The best way to maintain good oral health is to visit your dentist on a regular basis.