A Detailed View of Dental Exams and Teeth Cleanings

A Detailed View of Dental Exams and Teeth Cleanings

Oct 01, 2020

Dental exams help protect both your overall body and oral health in various ways. For instance, during your dental examination, your dentist may spot signs or symptoms of systemic diseases like lupus, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis which may appear first in the oral cavity. If the dentist or your hygienist finds signs that may indicate a disease, he/she will refer you to a doctor for further tests and treatment. It also creates an opportunity where you get to learn tips on how to care for your dentals hence promoting oral hygiene.

What Happens During an Oral Exam?

Oral examination procedures can be performed by a dental hygienist or a dentist. During this procedure, your practitioner will check your teeth for gum disease and cavities. He/she will also perform teeth cleaning procedures to get rid of plaque and tartar that may be present on your teeth. In addition, the dental professional will evaluate your chances of developing oral problems by looking at your face, mouth, and neck for abnormalities. Sometimes, dental X-rays and other diagnostic tests like an oral cancer screening may be included in the exam.

When Should You Go for Oral Exams?

According to the American Dental Association, adults should schedule regular exams at least twice a year even if one no longer has natural teeth. If you would like to go for dental exams and cleanings in Rexdale, ON, you can book an appointment with us at West Humber Dentistry.

How to Prepare and What to Expect

Before you schedule your first oral exam at a new dental clinic, ask for recommendations from people you are close to. The location of the dentist’s office, payment options, and the fees are some of the factors you should consider. If the exams make you anxious, share any concerns that you may have with the hygienist or dentist so that he/she may adjust the treatment to make you feel comfortable.

The hygienist or dentist will:

  • Assess your fluoride needs
  • Remove deposits and stains on your teeth’s surface
  • Check your jaw and bite for problems
  • Evaluate your oral hygiene and overall health
  • Assess if you need tooth replacement or restoration
  • Demonstrate how to properly clean your dentures or teeth
  • Check for signs of root decay, tooth decay, and bone or gum disease

Before the commencement of the exam, your dental professional will look at your medical and dental history. This helps reveal any health problem that you may have or the medications that you may have taken that might have affected your current oral health status. For instance, illnesses like diabetes raises the risk of developing gum disease while drugs that lead to a dry mouth increase the risk of dental decay.

Common Tests Carried Out During an Oral Examination

Expect your oral care provider to conduct the following activities during an oral exam:

  • Dental X-ray

Dental X-rays are used to reveal dental issues that cannot be seen with naked eyes. There exist different types of oral x-rays some of which are:

  • Periapical – This type shows an entire tooth as well as its surrounding bone.
  • Panoramic – Used to provided a broad, detailed view of your entire mouth.
  • Occlusal – Recommended when the dentist wants to see how well the lower and upper teeth fit when you close your jaw.
  • Bitewing – Shows the dental crowns of both the lower and upper teeth.
  • Cone-beam computerized tomography – Helps the dental team gauge your teeth’s adjacent structures and spacing by providing 3-D images of your dentals.
  • Oral Cancer Screening

In an oral cancer screening test, your dental practitioner will examine your oral cavity for signs that may indicate oral cancer. This has been prompted by the rising cases of oral cancer in the past years. It occurs in various ways and failure to detect it at an early stage can be life-threatening as it quickly spreads to other parts of the body. The practitioner will check your tongue, both the floor and roof of the mouth, your jaw, neck, cheeks, and lips. Modern dental professionals are trained for this because early oral cancer detection raises the chances of a successful treatment.

  • Dental Cleaning

Professional cleaning eliminates tartar and plaque which forms frequently on the teeth. The two are responsible for various oral issues like gum disease and tooth decay. Most dentists near you, use ultrasonic equipment to clean the teeth and what follows next is the teeth polishing procedure.

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