What Happens at an Oral Exam at Your Dentist Office?

What Happens at an Oral Exam at Your Dentist Office?

Mar 24, 2022

Prevention is your best option to maintain excellent oral and overall wellness. When it comes to your oral health, you don’t have to wait until you have a dental problem to visit your dentist. Even when you think your health is good, you might still have undiagnosed oral issues. Some oral issues don’t even have obvious symptoms in their early stages.

For instance, a severe condition such as oral cancer begins with a simple pimple, which most people are likely to ignore and hope will heal on its own. These issues will only show symptoms when the disease has advanced to severe stages. At severe stages, the condition can be irreversible and could cause the need for more invasive and expensive treatments.

It is essential to schedule routine dental exams and cleanings with your dentist. Fortunately, dental exams and cleanings are easy and painless. You don’t have to worry about injections or drilling. If you don’t know what to expect during dental exams and cleaning, let’s look at what the procedure entails.

  • The Oral Exam Process

A complete oral exam is typically done in one appointment and should be performed at least once every six months. It’s also worth noting that the process may differ from one dentist to another. Generally, it entails:

  • Medical History 

The dentist will begin the exam by reviewing your medical history. They will talk to you about existing and past conditions, diagnosis, and medications. They might also ask about lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and allergies. This information gives the dentist a better understanding of your oral wellness and helps them to determine the proper care for you.

  • The Examination 

After learning your medical history, the dentist performs a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gums, jawbone, throat, neck, and mouth. The exam might involve using various technologies, therapies, and techniques such as x-rays. They check your teeth for dental damage such as loose teeth, cavities, cracks, chips, breaks, discoloration, and decay. They also check your gums for gum disease symptoms such as swelling, redness, irritability, and abscesses. Some dentists also perform oral cancer screenings to check for early signs of oral cancer. If any problem is detected, the dentist will create a treatment plan to treat the condition before it progresses to severe stages.

  • Cleaning 

After the exam, the dentist will begin cleaning each tooth at a time. They will use specialized tools to scrape off tartar and plaque from the teeth’ surfaces and in the gum line. Next, the dentist will brush, floss, and rinse your teeth thoroughly. Then, they will polish the teeth to give them a brighter and smoother appearance.

  • Preventive Dentistry 

If you’re at a higher risk of developing oral issues such as cavities and gum disease, the dentist might recommend preventive dental services. They can perform a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Dental sealants are also an ideal option, especially among kids and teenagers. Dental sealants are applied on the tooth surfaces of the back teeth, preventing the risk of plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth.

  • Results 

Next, your dentist will discuss the findings with you to be aware of any possible risks or conditions. If they identified any issue, the dentist would create a treatment plan to address it. The dentist can schedule more appointments for severe or unconfirmed cases or refer you to specialists.

  • Education 

After the exam, the dentist may spend a few minutes educating you about proper dental hygiene and habits. These can include:

  • Brush at least twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Schedule at least two dental appointments per year
  • Avoid abrasive dental products and replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky items
  • Avoid acidic and sugary items as they can increase your risk of enamel erosion, dental damage, and decay
  • Wear a mouth guard during sports
  • Wear a nightguard for bruxism
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Don’t use your teeth as a tool
  • Contact your dentist immediately if your dental restorations get damaged
  • Schedule an Appointment Today

For more information about complete oral exams treatments, contact Claremont Dental Group.

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