Are you aware of the importance of regular dental exams? It might seem like a chore to keep up with your semi-annual dental appointments, but they are crucial to help you stay on top of your oral health. At McDonald DDS, we encourage you to keep your regular dental exam appointments to help our dentists catch any oral health issues as early as possible.
Are Dental Exams Invasive?
Many people worry about the invasiveness of any dental procedure. We get it, going to the dentist can be scary, but it does not have to be. Our dentists are gentle and kind, working with patients that have a fear of the dentist, making them feel comfortable enough to sit in the chair and let us conduct the proper exam.
Dental exams are a time for our dentists to look closely at your teeth one at a time. We look at the integrity of each tooth and identify any issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, or orthodontic issues early. The only tool used during the typical exam is the explorer, which is a simple tool that touches each tooth to check its strength. Overall, you will not feel anything when we conduct the dental exam.
X-Rays During the Dental Exam
Typically, we suggest dental x-rays, especially when you are a new patient. X-rays give our dentists a chance to see what is going on beyond what we can see with our own eyes. If there are issues with your bones or gum tissues, we can put a treatment plan together early on so that the disease does not progress.
As a new patient, we typically ask for a full mouth x-ray. After the initial appointment, we determine at each appointment if we need an update. If anything has changed in your mouth, you have complaints, or it has been a while, we may update the x-rays, comparing them to your baseline results to see if anything has changed.
Other Parts of the Exam
The dental exam also includes an evaluation for gum disease and an oral cancer screening. During the gum disease evaluation, we measure the pockets, which is the tissue between the bottom of your teeth and the top of the jawbone. If the pockets measure more than 3 mm, could be a sign of gum disease and may require further treatment.
The oral cancer screening is also an important part of the exam. We look for any suspicious signs of oral cancer and evaluate them further immediately. Oral cancer typically does not show signs until it is in the later stages, which can be dangerous. Our dentists carefully check your mouth, cheeks, tongue, neck, and face for any lumps, bumps, redness, or suspicious-looking areas. We may recommend a biopsy or further testing if we notice any issues.
Call Our Office Today
The dental exam is non-invasive but is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health. If you are ready to schedule your dental exam, call McDonald DDS at (469) 649-0699 for your appointment.