- Examine diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Necessary for finding decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. These x-rays are also used to diagnose developmental problems of teeth growing in.
- Screen for oral cancer: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Check for gum disease: Examination of the gums and bone around the teeth to find any signs of periodontal disease.
- Check for tooth decay: Use of special dental instruments to test all tooth surfaces for decay.
- Examine existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, and other restorations
Why do I need dental exams?
Dental problems tend to get worse when left untreated. When you see Dr. Brett Warn for regular visits, small problems won’t have a chance to become major concerns. For instance, the longer tooth decay goes unchecked the more damage it can do to a tooth, and the less of the original tooth that can be saved. Good hygiene and dental visits are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings. Routine exams also give you the best chance for early detection and treatment of serious oral problems.
What happens during a routine dental exam?
Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. The dental hygienist will first give your teeth a thorough cleaning. Then we will review the x-rays, and if necessary take new ones. We will make a visual inspection of the inside of your mouth, and may use instruments like a long handled mirror, and a dental explorer. If all is healthy, your gums will be firm and pink, and your teeth won’t have any soft, rough or discolored surfaces. Dr. Warn will recommend treatment for any signs of decay or other problems, and make notes on any conditions that deserve observation on the next visit.
How often do I need exams?
Many adults require exams every six months. If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup or gum disease, Dr. Warn will recommend more frequent appointments.