Dental visits decoded: Exams
Think your teeth are in perfect condition? That’s no reason to skip a dental exam. In addition to helping identify cavities and gum disease while they’re easy to treat, visiting your dentist every six months is a good way to detect serious conditions like oral cancer and diabetes. If it’s been a while since your last exam, here’s what you can expect the next time you sit in the dentist’s chair.
Exams are often paired with cleanings and, in many cases, a dental hygienist will clean your teeth before the actual exam. If it’s your first time with a particular dentist, you can expect him or her to ask questions about your overall oral health, medical history and medications you may be taking. Then, using small instruments and a mirror, your dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer and other issues. He or she will also check tooth alignment and signs of habits such as tooth grinding.
Your entire exam should be pain-free, though there could be a little tenderness when the dentist is checking for signs of gum disease.
Once your exam is over, you’ll either schedule your next regular appointment or discuss next steps if your dentist found an issue that needs treatment. That’s it!
What are you waiting for? Book your next exam today. Most dental insurance plans include two free exams per calendar year.
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Last updated: July 2018
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.