3 Important Steps That Should Be Included In A Comprehensive Dental Examination

Posted on: 17 March 2017


Getting a comprehensive dental examination is an important part of good oral care habits, and this is something you should do twice each year. If you can't remember the last time you visited a dental clinic for an exam, you might be surprised to find that regular visits are now extremely thorough compared to how they may have been the last time you went. A comprehensive examination will include many things, including teeth cleaning, x-rays, and a fluoride treatment, but it should also include the following three things.

A Discussion With The Dentist About Your Medical History And Concerns

When you visit the dentist, it presents an opportunity for him or her to locate problems in your mouth, but it is also the perfect opportunity for you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. For example, do you have an area in your mouth that is overly sensitive? If so, you should talk to the dentist about this. Another example is if you have an area between two teeth that constantly seems to trap food. This is called a food trap, and this is something your dentist should know about. The only way the dentist may know things like this is if you talk to him or her about them.

This is also a great time to talk to your dentist about your fears relating to dental work. If you have fears, your dentist might be able to suggest some options that could help ease the fears you have.

Talking to your dentist about your medical history is also an important step that should take place during a comprehensive dental examination. There are numerous health conditions and medications that can affect a person's oral health, and your dentist will want to know these things. For example, many medications cause dry mouth. If you have dry mouth, it can lead to a higher risk of developing cavities, and it can also lead to other oral problems.

Cancer Screening

A comprehensive dental exam should also include a cancer screening, and this, too, is a relatively new concept in dentistry. A cancer screening is completed simply to see if there are any visible signs of oral cancer or cancers in the neck and surrounding areas. To complete this, your dentist will feel your neck to look for bumps, lumps, or other suspicious growths. The dentist will also lift your tongue up and look for lesions and growths. A cancer screening will also include looking closely at your gums and inside your throat.

If the dentist detects anything that looks suspicious, he or she may recommend visiting a medical doctor to have the area evaluated further. If this happens, it does not automatically mean you have cancer, but it does mean that there is something suspicious that should be checked out.

Gum Disease Check

The third important step that should be completed during a comprehensive dental exam is a gum disease check. This step is completed by a hygienist, in most cases, and he or she will measure the pockets between your gums and teeth. The point of this is to determine if you have gum disease. If so, it can be treated much easier if it is detected at an early stage. If your gums have small pockets, it means your gums are healthy and you have nothing to be concerned about at this time. If you have large pockets, it could be a sign of the initial stages of gum disease.

Getting your teeth and mouth examined twice each year is very important for the health of your teeth. If you would like to schedule a comprehensive dental visit, call a dentist, such as Bewick Keary DDS, today and set up a time that is convenient for your schedule.