There’s more to your bi-annual dental visit than a deep cleaning. Your dentist is looking for a checklist of indicators that your oral health is no less than pristine. A comprehensive dental exam includes several different tests and evaluations that tells your dentist about your at-home oral hygiene habits, as well as what sort of action is necessary to maintain a healthy smile.
When you’re in the dental chair, your dentist has a set of tools that lets them see what’s going on in your mouth. Instruments including dental explorers, probes, and mirrors give your doctor a surface level look at your teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue – all of which are indicators of great or poor oral hygiene.
There’s a lot more to oral health than what meets the eye. Dental x-rays help your dentist detect damage and disease. This provides your dentist with detailed information that can be used in deciding treatment plans.
Thousands of adults are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. But, early detection allows for a greater chance of a cure. That is why it is essential to get an oral cancer screening during your routine dental visits. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will look for abnormal cells that may be a cause for concern. Additional tests can determine if they are indeed precancerous, cancerous, or benign. If you smoke tobacco, are a heavy drinker, or experience significant sun exposure, skipping an oral cancer screening is putting you at a great risk.
Gum disease impacts more than just the gum tissue. A gum disease screening will start with a visual evaluation of bleeding or swollen gums, tartar buildup, gum recession, tooth mobility, and more. Periodontal screenings with x-rays can also provide information about the supporting bone structure.