PROFESSIONAL DENTAL EXAMS
You know that brushing and flossing every day, along with routine dental cleanings, are essential for preventing serious oral health problems. Sometimes, however, even those who are diligent with their oral care routine can still experience issues. Untreated, most dental issues only grow worse and can lead to major health problems. At National Dental Melville, we can help you to protect your oral, and overall, health with regular dental exams.
What is a Dental Exam?
A dental exam is when we take a look at all areas of your mouth. Routine exams are typically recommended at least twice a year and are usually done during the same visit as your dental cleanings. We check all surfaces of your teeth, checking for signs of damage and decay. We will also look at your gums, checking for redness, swelling, recession and other signs of gum disease. Exams allow us to spot issues in their early stages before they become serious.
The Different Types of Exams
There are a few different types of oral exams:
- Periodic oral exams. These exams are your routine oral exams. We will examine your mouth for any issues and update your file.
- Comprehensive oral exam. This type of exam is done if you are a new patient, or if it has been a while since your last visit. It is a thorough oral exam that often includes taking digital X-rays.
- Limited oral exam. This type of exam is done when you have specific symptoms. It is used to diagnose their cause. X-rays may be included in this exam.
- Follow up exam. This exam is done following a major dental procedure. It is used to monitor your progress and ensure that you are healing.
How is an Exam Performed?
Your oral exam begins with a thorough inspection of the visible structures within your mouth. We look over each of your teeth, checking for signs of decay and cavities. Any restorations (crowns, veneers, bridges, implants) will be checked as well. We will look at your gum tissue for signs of gum disease (swelling, redness, recession, periodontal pockets). The rest of your oral tissues will be examined for anything unusual, such as lesions. We will also check your face and neck for signs of swelling. This is part of the oral cancer screening that is performed at every exam.
When we are done looking over your mouth, we will have a discussion with you regarding your oral health care. We will ask about your hygiene habits at home, as well as any other habits (such as smoking). You will be able to ask any questions and have any concerns addressed during this time as well.
X-rays are not part of every routine exam, but they are taken periodically. At National Dental, we use digital X-ray technology, which relies on electronics rather than radiation. X-rays are used to let us see the hidden areas of your mouth, such as between your teeth and below the gum line. We can better monitor the health of your whole mouth and provide treatment as soon as we notice anything wrong.
Regular dental exams are essential for finding issues early and providing the necessary treatments to keep your mouth healthy. Call National Dental Melville at (631) 816-2277 to schedule your exam today.