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Complete dental exam: What is involved?

Dentist examining teeth for any needed dental work

• Routine dental checkups are essential to maintaining optimal oral health and a natural-looking smile. Early detection of tooth decay is critical, so any necessary dental work can be completed before the problem progresses.

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!

4 Responses to "Complete dental exam: What is involved?"

  1. Mandy  May 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for the informative post. I am a little surprised that my personal dentist has never suggested or provided a TMJ examination during my “comprehensive” dental exams. I will request next time I visit the dentist, so thanks for pointing this out!

  2. Ellen Lim  June 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    As a dentist myself, I could not have said this better myself. You did a great summation of a dental exam.

    • Jordan  June 7, 2012 at 2:26 am

      Thanks! Please let me know if you think anything should be added.

  3. medical tourism costa rica  December 10, 2012 at 5:54 am

    You gives the fantstic info about dental exam. It was very helpful. Thanks for sharing.


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