You already know how important brushing and flossing are. The ADA recommends brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day to help prevent serious oral health issues from developing. However, even with proper care, issues can still arise. The problem is that many of these issues do not exhibit any symptoms in their earliest stages. By the time you notice anything is wrong, the condition has turned into something more serious and may require much more invasive treatment. Regular dental exams are crucial for the detection of oral health issues in their earliest stages. If you are new to our office, though, or it has been quite some time since your last exam, a more in-depth exam is needed. Sylvan Heights Dental can help with a comprehensive exam.
Examining Your Mouth
One of the main goals of your comprehensive exam is to examine your mouth. We take the time to carefully look over your teeth, your gums, and your other intraoral tissues. Your teeth are checked for signs of physical damage, decay, cavities, and wear. If you have any dental restorations, including bonding, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, or implants, we take the time to look at these structures over as well. If they are damaged or ill-fitting, they may need to be repaired or replaced.
Your gums are checked over for signs of gum disease. We assess the tissue for redness, swelling, and recession. We also take measurements around your teeth to assess the depth of periodontal pockets. This will allow us to determine the need for gum disease treatment and what treatments are required.
Another important part of your oral exam is an oral cancer screening. This is a quick, painless process during which we scan your intraoral tissues to check for signs of unusual growths and other abnormalities. Oral cancer is very difficult to detect in its earliest stages and can be difficult to treat in later stages. This screening is imperative for detecting the earliest stages so that you can get effective treatment right away.
Getting the Full Picture
Dental x-rays are another important part of your examination. X-rays show us the parts of your mouth that we cannot see with the naked eye. With these images, we can see decay and cavities between your teeth, root damage, developing teeth, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, bone loss, and more. They can help us to detect issues that we might never be able to notice otherwise, allowing you to get the most effective treatments possible before issues become more significant.
Going Over Your Medical History
To help you maintain your oral health, we need to know your medical history. Certain medical issues can affect your dental care, just like the condition of your mouth can exacerbate, or lead to, certain health issues. During your comprehensive exam, we go over your medical history, including any conditions you have suffered from as well as conditions you currently have. We also review your family medical history, which will help us to determine your risk for developing different types of issues.
Going Over What We Find
Following your exam, we go over anything we find and discuss your treatment options. We go over your oral hygiene habits at home and how you can improve them. Lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking are discussed. We also take the time to answer any questions and discuss any concerns that you might have.
Routine dental exams are crucial for helping you to maintain optimal oral health. A comprehensive dental exam gives us the full picture of your mouth so that we can customize your care to meet your specific needs. Call Sylvan Heights Dental at (503) 388-5882 to schedule your exam today.