Dental exams are a critical part of maintaining your oral health. Most oral health problems are preventable and are best managed when they are detected in the early stages. That is why it is vital to visit the dentist regularly for an assessment. This way, the dentist can identify a problem and intervene early.
A dental exam near you is done to check the oral cavity and throat. The dentist can also perform an intraoral examination that checks the cheeks, tongue, hard palate, tongue, gingiva, and neck. The evaluation starts with a physical assessment. However, the dentist can do an x-ray to examine the invisible parts. The examination assesses bone loss, signs of periodontal disease, tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues.
Teeth cleaning is also done as part of your checkup. The dentist will use a small mirror and a scaler to remove plaques from the gum line and between the teeth. But, you can have exams and clean on different days.
The dental exam and cleaning procedure can last around 45 to 60 minutes. However, for children, routine checkups will be shorter.
It is recommended to get a regular assessment at least twice a year or as advised by the dentist. The frequency in which you get the dental assessment and cleaning will depend on your age, dental health, and risk factors.
People with gum disease, certain habits like smoking, a family history of cavities, and a weakened immune system, need frequent assessments. It is vital to visit a dentist’s office near you for a discussion on your risk factors.
Most people actively avoid dental offices because of phobia and anxiety. But, this may have a few risks, and you may end up paying more in the long term. Visiting the dentist regularly offers great benefits such as:
1. It can detect oral cancer in its early stages
Oral cancer is a potentially life-threatening disease that can manifest in various ways, and in most cases, it does not present any signs or symptoms. Oral cancer can go unnoticed and lead to complications or death. Fortunately, with a regular dental examination, the dentist can detect oral cancer early and start treatment early, increasing your chances of surviving it.
Oral cancer screening is non-invasive and pain-free, and it is done in two stages–physical and visual exams. The dentist will do a physical exam to examine the mouth, tongue, and cheeks for abnormal growth or immobile tissue.
Visual exams involve examining the oral cavity for any lacerations using a light and a mirror. If there are any ulcers, further tests may be recommended to determine if they are cancerous or not.
2. It checks for plaques, tartar, and cavities
Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaques may still accumulate, especially if you miss a few places in the mouth. As the plaques accumulate, it can become hard to remove them with regular brushing, and you will need professional cleaning. The dentist will use a scaler to remove the buildup and prevent gums disease.
Also, cavities do not present any warning signs and only present symptoms in advanced stages. The best way to address the dental problem is to get it noticed early.
3. It prevents gum disease
When tartar builds up, it increases the risk of gum disease and infection. The bacteria can cause the gums to recede, which exposes the roots and further worsen the problem. With teeth cleaning, the dentist will remove the tartar and stop gum disease.
4. The dentist can detect problems underneath
The dentist may do an x-ray image to check beneath the surfaces of the mouth. This will help to detect and diagnose problems invisible to the naked eye. Some problems, like impacted teeth, cannot be seen with a physical exam and can only be diagnosed with other procedures.
Visit Burton Dentistry for more information on teeth exams and cleaning and how the procedure is done.