Coming in for dental exams once every six months is an essential way to keep your teeth healthy and prevent oral health problems. Dental exams allow us to identify problems in their early stages when they’re most treatable. Even if you no longer have natural teeth, dental exams are still important for maintaining your oral health and the function of your prosthetic teeth.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
During your exam, we will clean your teeth and look for any cavities or signs of gum disease. We will also examine your face, neck, and mouth for abnormalities, evaluate your risk for developing any dental health problems, or perform other diagnostic procedures.
You can also expect us to discuss your diet, oral hygiene and other lifestyle factors, such as tobacco use and the medications you use, if applicable, that can affect your dental health. We’ll also show you proper techniques for brushing and flossing. We may also discuss potential cosmetic improvements for your teeth.
Your exam will also include an evaluation to see if you need any teeth restored or replaced. We will also check for any problems in your jaw and bite, remove stains from your teeth and see if you need any fluoride treatments. If you have any dental implants, bridges or dentures, we’ll check to make sure they fit properly and see if adjustments are in order.
We might also take x-rays of your mouth, which allows us to see your mouth in much more detail. Many different types of dental x-rays are available, though they aren’t needed in every single check-up. The chance of radiation exposure from x-rays is very low, but if you are nevertheless concerned let us know.
Oral Cancer Exam
Your exam will also include an examination for signs of oral cancer. We will feel the area underneath your jaw, the sides of the neck, the inside of your cheeks and lips, along with the sides of the tongue and the roof and bottom of the mouth. It’s important that we deal with cancer in its earlier stages when it’s far more manageable.
At certain times, we might need to make a dental impression of one or both jaws to create a model of your teeth and oral tissue. This allows us to better evaluate your bite, or to make a mouthguard or bleaching trays if necessary.
During this procedure, Dr. Amoia will fill horseshoe-shaped trays with a gelatinous material and place them on your lower or upper teeth. A few minutes later we remove the trays and use it to make a dental cast of your mouth. We might also need you to bite down on a soft material to evaluate your bite.
Results of the Exam
At the end of your exam, we’ll explain the results, which includes an evaluation of your oral health, your risk of tooth decay, gum disease or other health problems, along with preventative measures you can take. It’s also a good time to schedule your next visit. If you’re at risk for tooth decay, gum disease or other complications, we’ll likely recommend having check-ups more frequently.
To schedule an appointment, call us at (516) 875-6774.