You do your best to take care of your mouth. You brush your teeth twice a day; you floss once a day, you even have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. However, even if you are diligent about your oral care, you can still experience issues. When oral health issues go untreated, they often grow worse and can lead to serious problems. At National Dental Sunnyside, we can help to detect issues in their early stages and take steps to protect the health of your mouth with dental exams.
WHAT IS A DENTAL EXAM?
A dental exam is a thorough inspection of the interior of your mouth. Your dental exams are usually done at the same time as your dental cleanings and should be done at least twice a year. Your teeth are checked for signs of decay and damage, and your gums are checked for signs of infection. Dental exams are used to detect oral health issues in their earliest stages, allowing us to take action right away, preventing them from getting worse.
TYPES OF DENTAL EXAMS
There are several types of dental exams:
- Comprehensive oral exam. A comprehensive exam is done if you are a new patient in our office. It is also used if it has been a while since your last appointment. Digital X-rays are often included in this exam.
- Periodic oral exam. A periodic exam is your regular 6-month oral exam. We inspect your mouth for signs of issues and update the information from your last appointment. Digital X-rays are not always involved with these exams.
- Limited oral exam. A limited exam is used when you are experiencing a specific issue, and we are diagnosing the cause of your symptoms. Digital X-rays may be taken.
- Follow up exam. A follow-up exam is done after you have had a treatment, such as periodontal treatment or oral surgery. The exam is designed to make sure that you are healing properly.
HOW IS AN EXAM PERFORMED?
Your dental exam is a fairly simple, straightforward procedure. We start by looking at your teeth, checking for signs of chips, cracks, tooth decay and cavities. If you have any restorations, such as crowns or a bridge, we will inspect these as well. Your gums are looked over for signs of infection, such as redness and swelling. Also included in your dental exam is an oral cancer screening. We look over the soft tissues of your mouth, checking for unusual growths, and check for swelling of your face and neck.
Once we have finished looking over your mouth, we will ask you a series of questions. We will ask about your oral care habits, as well as any habits you might have, such as smoking. We can provide you with advice on how to improve the health of your mouth and will take the time to answer any questions that you might have.
WHAT ABOUT X-RAYS?
X-rays, while not taken at every appointment, are an essential part of your oral health care plan. With X-rays, we can see the hidden structures of your mouth, including between your teeth and below your gum line. X-rays allow us to monitor the health of these areas and take action to prevent serious problems. At National Dental, we use digital X-ray technology, which reduces your exposure to radiation and allows us to get a much more in-depth view of your mouth.
With regular dental exams, we can detect oral health issues before they become major problems. To schedule your exam, call National Dental Sunnyside today at (718) 925-3365.