An oral exam is done by your dentist or dental hygienist to collect information about your oral health. The material collected from your exam depends on factors such as:
- Whether you’re a new or returning client
- Length of time since your last dental checkup
- Whether your visit is due to a specific dental condition or ongoing treatment
Dental hygienists must perform the oral evaluation before teeth cleaning, as it may reveal that you need a full-mouth debridement (cleaning above and below the gums), as opposed to standard teeth cleaning of the exposed part of the teeth (above the gum line).
During a Routine Oral Exam, You Can Expect:
- Inspect the teeth for signs of decay
- Determine the need for tooth repair, such as fillings or crowns
- Check gums for any inflammation or bleeding and measuring your gum pockets
- Review x-rays of your teeth to check for internal tooth damage or weakening
- Depending on the health of your gums, the hygienist may need to inspect your roots for abnormalities. If you’re suffering from bad breath (halitosis), then gingival irrigation may be necessary to remove food debris and accumulated bacteria.
- Check for signs of certain medical conditions and diseases, such as nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, hormonal irregularities, and so on, and recommend the appropriate action to help manage them and correct the problem.
During the oral evaluation, you can ask your dentist about any medical or financial concerns you may have.
Do You Need X-rays?
X-rays are not necessary during routine dental cleaning. But your dentist may recommend them to assess the extent of decay inside or between affected teeth. Depending on the results, you may need to schedule for scaling and root planing in addition to teeth cleaning.
The types of dental x-rays used include:
- A bitewing
- An FMX
- A periapical radiograph
- Panoramic radiograph
The early detection of tooth decay and other problems can save time, money, and your teeth. Moreover, six-month dental checkups and cleaning will help to maintain your beautiful smile.
Schedule your dental exam by contacting your dentist in Encino CA today!