Regular dental exams and cleanings remain an effective way to maintain an outstanding level of oral health and dental hygiene. These routine dental examinations provide a reliable way to detect potential teeth and gum issues long before they occur or become complex.
From this new guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about dental examinations including:
• What dental examinations are
• Who needs dental examinations
• The benefits of dental examinations
• Who to prepare for a dental examination
• Steps involved in the comprehensive dental examination
• Lots more
If you want to discover more about dental examination, this guide is for you!
Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Dental Examination?
Dental examination is the process of checking the teeth and entire mouth from a medical point of view. It is a preventive medical procedure used by dentists to monitor the oral health of patients. During dental examination, dentists will investigate all aspects of oral and systematic health in order to identify areas of concern.
Dental examination will unravel any dental issue or possible health challenge that is linked to your teeth, gums, and mouth. Through the results of the dental examination, dentists can develop a customized treatment plan to help the patient improve oral health and maximize overall wellbeing. Dental examination also includes professional teeth cleaning and a few other aftercare services.
Who Performs Dental Examination?
Dental examination is a multi-stage procedure that will involve several dental professionals. The chief of the professionals is your dentist, who is expected to perform most of the procedures and direct others on what to do. You shouldn’t let anyone who is not a licensed and certified dentist convince you to undergo dental examination with them. Such individuals, even if they are dental practitioners, do not have the capacity to conduct dental examinations and use the results properly.
It is also important that you choose where you go for dental examination carefully. If you already have a good and trustworthy dentist who runs a good dental clinic/center, you can trust him/her with your oral health. If you don’t have a dentist, it is time to find yourself one. It is important that you choose a reputable dentist running a reputable clinic.
Who Needs Dental Examination?
Dental examination is a preventive oral care procedure; therefore, it is recommended for every adult. It is not like a diagnostic examination performed to confirm or dismiss the existence of disease or infection. Rather, dental examination is done to ascertain the level of oral health, and device means to promote maximum oral health.
Even if you currently have no dental concerns, dental examination is still important. There are issues that may remain hidden for years and become very dangerous when the symptoms start showing up. Oral cancer, for instance, is not something you should wait to see symptoms before seeking help.
Dental patients also need dental examinations. Depending on the problem you are being treated for, your dentist may tell you when to come for a comprehensive dental examination. The process will be similar to what is obtainable with someone with great oral health. Bottom-line is, everyone needs dental examination.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Examination?
Dental examination has several benefits. For a start, it is critical to overall health. It offers the surest route to maintaining good oral health, which influences overall health. Some of the specific benefits you should expect to get from dental examination include:
- It will help you to be sure of your oral health condition
- It will identify oral health issues in time so that you can get timely treatment
- It can help to identify other systemic health issues linked to oral health
- It will help you understand if you are at risk of any disease/health condition
- It helps to reveal such serious issues as cavities, gum diseases, and oral cancer in time
- It is an opportunity to get your teeth professionally cleaned
- It is the only way for a dentist to come up with a custom treatment plan that will be perfect for you
- It will save you lots of money in the long run
- It affords you an opportunity to learn more about proper oral care from a dentist
- It will preserve your health.
How Do You Prepare For Dental Examination?
If you are going for your first dental examination as an adult, it is understandable that you will feel concerned about it. The first thing to do is to find the right dentist to work with. It is expected that you will work with a particular dentist for a while or even throughout your life, so be careful while making a choice. You can ask your loved ones or friends for a recommendation and go ahead to investigate all your options. You should also consider the location of the dentist, the cost of his/her services, as well as whether the clinic participates in your health plan. Your family doctor can also recommend a good dentist for you.
Dental examination is not a complex procedure. Though there are different stages involved, it doesn’t need any sort of special preparation. The dentist will ask several questions pertaining to your health, and you are also expected to talk about any medical condition you have or any medication you are currently taking and those you have used in recent times.
To make things easier, you can go to the dentist with your medical reports and medications. Depending on whether you have an underlying health issue or not, you may be required to take antibiotics before your dental examination. Patients who have had recent surgeries, those who have been diagnosed with heart problems, as well as those with immune system disorders are always advised to take antibiotics. You will need to confirm with your dentist before doing this.
If you are anxious about a dental examination, there is no need to worry too much about it. Many people have that same feeling, so it is completely natural. What you need to do is to share your concerns with your dentist or dental hygienist. A true professional will talk you through what is involve and help you feel more comfortable.
How Long Does A Dental Examination Take?
Looking at the different procedures involved in dental examination, one may think it will take days or at least several hours to be completed. This is not really the case. Depending on a number of factors, the actual examination can take between 30 and 45 minutes. It can take a little longer, depending on the patient’s teeth condition. Other factors that can affect how long the procedure will take include:
- Your oral health condition
- The number of tests required
- The techniques and technologies used by the dentist’s office
- The availability of the dentists
- And other dental/medical conditions that can influence the type of procedures to use.
You should also know that some people will need more than one visit to the dentist’s office to get a comprehensive dental examination and the attention they need to achieve optimum oral health. If you have strong teeth with little or no dental concerns, the process is always smooth and can take just 45 minutes on average.
Are There Any Risks To A Dental Exam?
One reason some people are concerned about dental examination is the involvement of x-ray. Contrary to what most people think, dental x-rays are quite safe for healthy, active people. However, x-rays are not recommended for pregnant women. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, please inform Dr. Park about it.
What Happens During A Dental Examination?
As mentioned already, dental examination is more of a multi-stage procedure. Several important things will happen, and it is important that we discuss them in detail. To make it more comprehensive, we may discuss two or more procedures under one heading. Basically, here are the major things you should expect.
This is the stage the dentist discusses your dental and medical history. You can also call it the medical history intake as your dentist will ask you several questions in order to understand your oral and overall health. Most dentists will make this feel like a friendly chat, but they really need all the information they are extracting.
It is important that you tell the dentists the whole truth during this interview session. Everything you say and every record you present will be used by the dentist to determine how to proceed in order to get the best result from the dental exam. The information will also guide the dentist to create the right treatment plan for you. If you have any pre-existing condition (even if you feel it has nothing to do with oral health), let your dentist know.
The information you will be asked to provide will pertain to the following:
- Any medical condition you are being treated for
- Family history of medical and dental conditions
- Previous surgeries and hospitalizations
- Your previous dental treatment procedures and surgeries
- Your dental hygiene routine
- Medications you are currently taking
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- List of allergies you suffer
- Previous experience with anesthesia and more.
This is the stage where the dentist or dental hygienist examines your teeth and supporting structures. It is a thorough investigation of the mouth to ascertain oral health and the condition of your teeth and bite. It incorporates various techniques and technologies.
The dental professional will examine every surface or every tooth in your mouth to uncover cavities or ascertain the condition/quality of existing fillings with a crown horn or fishhook. The professional will also look for any sign of decay and the presence of tartar/calculus.
In addition to checking each tooth thoroughly, the dental professional will check the supporting tissues. Braces, bridges, dentures, crowns, and other dental restorations will also be checked at this stage. An occlusal exam will also be done to check for bite problems like overbite, underbite, crossbite, as well as other issues like worn teeth and jaw problems.
This is actually part of oral cleaning, but there is a need for us to discuss it separately to stress the importance. X-ray is very important for comprehensive dental examination. If you are concerned about x-ray and exposure to radiation, talk with the dentist about it earlier. The risks of exposure to harmful radiation through x-ray are almost non-existent, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
X-ray examination is one of the best ways to detect dental abnormalities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. A full mouth X-ray will be taken during oral screening, and the result will help to a great extent in devices an appropriate treatment plan for you.
This is not so different from the two points above. We chose to discuss it as a distinctive stage because of its objective. At this point, the dental professional is looking for clues to diseases of the mouth and gum. It is at this point that the dentist or hygienist can determine if you have periodontal disease by performing periodontal probing.
Oral cancer screening is also part of the clinical examination that will be performed. Cancer screening will be done both visually and digitally. The professional will check your tongue, lips, lymph nodes, and the entirety of the inside of your mouth and cheek.
Most dentists choose to discuss the result of dental examinations after teeth cleaning and stain removal, which often go alongside a dental examination procedure. The result, of course, will detail your oral health. The dentist will discuss that with you. If you are at risk of any dental issue, the dentist will also inform you and tell you about preventive measures you can take.
If it is found that you have any dental/oral issue like a cavity, gingivitis and other gum disease, or bone loss and tooth development problem, your dentist will discuss that with you. Even if it is found that you have oral cancer, your dentist will inform you at this stage.
Depending on the result, the dentist can devise a unique treatment plan that will restore your oral health. You will definitely have to make follow-up appointments to keep you on track to full recovery.
Some results may also warrant the dentist to send you to a specialist or a second opinion dentist. This happens when the result shows a serious condition that the dentist can’t handle competently. You shouldn’t panic when you are referred to a specialist after dental examination. Some problems that the dentist can’t handle may be easy for another physician to handle.
The final aspect of dental examination is education on oral health. Regardless of what you already know, pay attention to everything your dentist or hygienist will say at this point. Education can be considered as part of result discussion, but to emphasize its importance, we will call it oral education and discuss it differently.
Whether you have any dental concerns or not, dentists will always educate you more on how to maintain oral hygiene and promote oral health. Your treatment plan may also be discussed at this point.
If you have any questions or concerns about anything at all relating to the dental examination and the recommended treatment plan, ask the dentist. You shouldn’t be shy or afraid to ask any question at all. Most dentists will appreciate your questions as chances to educate you more on oral health.
What to Do After a Dental Examination
Depending on the result of your dental examination, the dentist will educate you properly on the steps you need to take. If it is found that you have some serious dental issues, the dentist will devise a treatment plan that will restore your oral health. If it is found that you are at risk of any dental issue, the dentist will also recommend preventive measures to keep your teeth safe and your oral health intact. If it is found that your oral health is great, the dentist will still recommend ways to keep your oral health optimum. Also, remember that follow-up tests may be recommended, or the dentist can refer you to a specialist.
Regardless of the state of your oral health, there are things you are expected to do for your oral health. In addition to everything the dentist or hygienist will say, ensure that you maintain healthy oral hygiene through the following steps:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months
- Eat a healthy diet
- Limit alcohol use
- Don’t smoke.
Your dentist will tell you more ways to maintain good oral hygiene, and it is important you follow the instructions religiously.
The Take-Home Bag
In many instances, dentists provide their patients with a take-home bag after a dental examination. The take-home bag is normally designed to promote at-home oral health practices. Most dentists prepare the kit the meet the unique need of each dental patient. Depending on the result of your exam, the bag may include:
- A new toothbrush
Your dentist or dental hygienist will educate you on how to use everything in the take-home bag the right way. This should be part of the dental education you will receive at the end of your dental examination.
Q: Is dental examination really important even when I have a healthy mouth?
Yes, dental examinations are important for everyone. It is a preventive procedure that will promote optimal oral health and overall wellbeing. Through oral examination, some issues can be detected in time and treated accordingly.
Q: How often should I go for dental examination?
It is recommended that you go for oral examination at least two times in a year. This means the best way to ensure that you maintain optimal oral health is to go for oral examination after every six months.
Q: Where should I go for dental examination?
Q: Can dental examinations be painful?
Generally, dental examinations are not a painful procedure.
Q: Do dental examinations cover every aspect of oral health?
Yes, dental examinations consider all aspects of oral health. Your entire mouth will be properly screened for any dental issue, gum disease, or any other type of oral issue. Regular dental checks will even help you to detect other types of health issues relating to oral health in time.
Q: Are dental examinations an expensive service?
Generally, they’re not very expensive. At Glenbrook Dental, our prices are set by the Alberta Dental Association fee schedule, so prices are subject to change year by year.
Please feel free to give us a call to find out how much they cost this year. Our phone numbers is (587) 483-9900
Q: Can dental examination be concluded in a day?
Yes, dental examinations are normally concluded in a day. In fact, the entire procedure can take just about 45 minutes. Some special cases may take more time, however. A second visit and follow-up tests may be necessary.
Q: What do I do with the result of dental examination?
Your dentist and dental hygienists will guide you on how to follow up on the result of your dental examination. Dental education is considered part of the package, and what you will be taught will depend on the result of your examination.
Q: Can I pay for dental examination with my insurance?
You, you can pay for dental examination with your insurance, depending on the dental clinic you choose. The procedure is affordable, and most people can even pay out of pocket.
Booking Your Appointment
Request An Appointment
Discover how our team at Glenbrook Dental can guide you along your dental health path. When you request an appointment, our receptionist will return your message within 1 business day. Her name is Marj.