A comprehensive examination by your cosmetic dentist should involve an evaluation of numerous factors:
(#1) Medical history: Your medical history is significant in your dental treatment, so your exam will begin with a discussion of medical conditions, medications, allergies, surgeries, and any hospitalizations.
(#2) Oral cancer (mouth cancer) screening: Unfortunately, around 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and the five-year survival rate is only 50% percent. However, survival rates drastically increase with early detection, so please visit your dental office regularly for a checkup.
(#3) Tooth decay evaluation and X-rays: Any necessary x-rays are taken to detect tooth decay and any other potential dental problems. Addressing cavities and completing any needed dental work as soon as possible is essential to prevent more significant issues, like dental infections or abscesses.
(#4) Cosmetic dental evaluation: An experienced cosmetic dentist will perform a thorough evaluation that factors in: the curvature of the lips, the shade of the teeth, missing teeth, facial dimensions and shape, spaces between teeth, visible silver fillings, chipped or rotated teeth, and any other concerns the patient may have.
(#5) TMJ exam: TMJ Disorder is a medical condition affecting the jaw joint. According to the American Dental Association, 10 million Americans have TMJ Disorder. So, an evaluation of your jaw joint is a vital part of a comprehensive exam.
(#6) Rule out teeth grinding: Grinding your teeth at night can negatively affect your bite and jaw joint, so early detection is important.
(#7) Evaluation of your gums: Healthy gums are critical to oral health and overall health. More and more research is showing an association between periodontitis (gum disease) and other medical conditions, such as diabetes and arteriosclerosis. Regular exams and cleanings are critical to diagnosing, preventing and treating gum disease.
As always, please recommend any dental health topics that you would like to see me cover in my blog!