What Is a Dental Exam and What Can You Expect? A Guide

By: Adrian Cruce

Do you have a fear of going to the dentist? This is what most people feel before their first dental exam.

Many people don’t know what to expect from a dental exam and what it entails, which makes them nervous about the experience.

This blog post will explore what is a dental exam, what happens during one, and how they help determine your oral health status. Read on for more information.

What Is a Dental Exam?

A dental exam is what we call a routine checkup. It’s an “unplanned” visit, meaning that you are not sick but rather coming to the office for preventive dental care.

It allows us to look for any signs of oral disease or other problems in your mouth and give you guidance about what treatments might be necessary.

During this examination, your dentist will examine all surfaces inside the mouth, including:

  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • The roof of the mouth (palate)
  • Teeth and surrounding tissues

The goal is to find out what condition these parts of our body are in. It also helps to find out if anything bad has developed between visits that need treatment right away.

This also includes using tools like an endoscope to help detect problems early on before they become more serious issues. A dentist can also perform x-ray imaging during a dental exam to help determine what is going on inside the mouth.

What Can You Expect From a Dental Exam?

Your dentist will ask about your medical history and any symptoms you might be having before starting with the examination.

When it comes time to start looking at what’s happening inside your mouth, they’ll have you open wide. They’ll then look around using specially designed tools like probes and mirrors.

While this sounds scary or uncomfortable, most people don’t feel anything during their exam, even if there are instruments being used near tender gums or nerve endings. Note: Your dentist may numb these areas beforehand, which will make the examination even more comfortable.

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After your dentist finishes looking at what’s happening inside your mouth, they will go over what they’ve found with you. They’ll then tell you what treatment might be necessary to improve oral health.

Types of Diagnosis Used for Dental Exam

There are many ways that your dentist can figure what’s going on inside of your mouth during a dental exam. One common method is to poke around the gums with an explorer tool. This will help them determine if there is any gum disease present or not.

They might also look for signs of tooth decay by using x-ray imaging. This way, they know what issues need immediate attention and what treatments may be necessary.

Another diagnostic technique used frequently during regular exams involves looking at how much tartar has built up on teeth. This helps them determine what treatment is necessary to remove the tartar and prevent gum disease.

During a dental exam, you can also expect your dentist to take oral cancer screenings seriously. This can include looking at your tongue and mouth for any lumps or other abnormalities that shouldn’t be there.

You can also discuss some of the changes that you’ve noticed in your mouth that concern you. This is what they like to hear during their examination because it gives them more insight into what might be going on inside of your oral cavity.

How Often Should You Get a Dental Exam?

Ideally, you should get an exam every six months.

However, what’s more, important is getting to know what changes are happening inside of your mouth. This is what helps your dentist determine what treatment, if any, you need.

If things remain the same or don’t change much over time, an exam every six months might be okay.

But what if you start to see red gums, increased sensitivity of teeth, or swelling? These are all signs that something might be wrong and warrant more frequent visits.

What If I Don’t Have a Dental Exam?

If you don’t have regular appointments, then what can happen is any oral disease present will get worse. This includes tooth decay and gum disease, which are both preventable if caught in time.

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If they get worse, what may happen is tooth loss. This will then require expensive procedures to replace and can even lead to more serious problems like not being able to eat normally.

How Can You Make an Exam Less Stressful?

The most important thing you can do when it comes time for a dental exam is to relax. If you are feeling anxious or concerned about what might be found, it’s only going to make things worse.

This is why having a positive attitude can go a long way toward getting through an exam. You won’t feel too uncomfortable or embarrassed.

If you are still anxious about visiting the dentist’s office, talk with your Lexington dentist before the appointment. They may be willing to prescribe medication to help you feel more at ease during your dental exam.

Why Is It Important?

The primary goal of a dental exam is to help us detect any problems that could happen in the future. If you want to keep your teeth healthy and functional, you need regular visits to a dentist.

This is what helps them identify what might be wrong and what treatment needs to happen. Then, they can come up with a plan that will help you get healthier teeth in the long run. They just want what’s best for your oral health.

Your Dental Exam Concerns Resolved

What is a dental exam, and what should you expect? A good starting point for this critical question is the basics covered in this post.

This information can help you get a better idea of what to expect during your next dental exam.

We hope you now feel better prepared to face what might happen during your next exam. For more interesting articles, please keep browsing our blog.