Dental exams are one of the most important methods of maintaining good oral health. For patients in the Elizabethtown area in need of a dental exam, our doctors at Clagett Dental are more than ready to assist. They’ll use their years of experience to look for potential problems in the mouth, diagnose any decay or cavity issues, and instruct patients on the proper ways to maintain oral hygiene.
What Is a Dental Exam?
Dental exams are when our doctors thoroughly examine the patient’s mouth to look for signs of problems, such as gum disease or cavities. Other health issues our doctors will look for in a dental exam include:
- Signs of oral cancer
- Abnormalities in the mouth, neck, or face
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Signs of bite or jaw issues
The American Dental Association recommends that patients have a dental exam at a regular interval determined by their dentist. For most patients, this is every six months. They’re usually paired with teeth cleanings to remove built-up tartar and plaque known to cause cavities.
Benefits of Having a Dental Exam
Having a dental exam is one of the most important ways to maintain good oral health. It’s the only chance patients have to get their mouth looked at by an expert. Some reasons for scheduling a regular dental exam include:
- Catching oral problems before they get out of hand
- Stopping decay from spreading in the mouth
- Preserving the teeth, gums, and jawbone
- Correcting bite issues that interfere with eating
- Learning how to properly brush and floss the teeth
What a Dental Exam Is Like
Elizabethtown patients have nothing to fear when they schedule a dental exam with our doctors. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour from start to finish, and there will be no invasive procedures. All the tools and instruments we use cause as little discomfort as possible.
At the start of the exam, our doctors may take X-rays to get a better look at the teeth and structures of the mouth. This helps them identify cavities and other issues that might not be noticeable with the naked eye. After looking at the X-rays, our doctors will ask patients about their medical and dental history just to make sure there’s nothing they need to worry about.
Our doctors will then perform the physical exam, which may include:
- Sticking fingers or other instruments in the mouth
- Moving the tongue and feeling inside the cheeks
- Removing stains or deposits from the teeth
- Determining whether fluoride treatment would be beneficial
Who Should Get a Dental Exam?
Everyone should have regular dental exams to protect themselves from oral health problems. Even patients who no longer have teeth still need to have their mouth examined, as it’s still possible to develop gum disease or experience deterioration of the jawbone. Plus, our doctors can evaluate the effectiveness of dentures or dental implants to make sure they’re still providing a comfortable and functional solution.
Patients who haven’t had a dental exam in a few years are especially encouraged to make an appointment with our Elizabethtown office. Our doctors will never shame or scold a patient for not making it in sooner; rather, they’ll provide a comforting and accepting environment where everyone can feel like they’re getting the help they need.
It’s important for patients to remember that nearly all dental insurance plans cover routine dental exams, making these visits free or affordable when scheduled every six months.
Is There Any Recovery After a Dental Exam?
A dental exam is a very mild procedure, meaning Elizabethtown patients shouldn’t feel any ill side effects afterward. In fact, they may find that their teeth feel smooth and refreshed after receiving a cleaning. Sometimes, the gums may be tender after the exam, but this should generally resolve within a few minutes. Otherwise, patients will be free to eat, drink, and talk just they like normally would after their exam.
Maintain Your Oral Health With a Dental Exam in Elizabethtown
Don’t let your fear of the dentist stop you from getting the preventive oral care you need. Dental exams can identify cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer symptoms while they’re still easy to treat. And under the care of our doctors, you don’t have to worry about being mistreated.
To keep your mouth safe and healthy, schedule a consultation today by calling our Elizabethtown office at (270) 769-3306.