What Is a Complete Dental Exam?

Dental Exam Plano, TX

A complete dental exam is performed to assess the current state of your teeth and gums so appropriate treatments can be performed. The examination goes beyond the standard teeth cleaning and visual examination that takes place during biannual trips to the dentist.

When you go in for a complete dental exam, the dentist evaluates your oral health and how it affects the rest of your body. It can lead to the early detection of developing dental issues, which means needed treatments can be performed before things get out of control.

What to expect during a comprehensive dental exam

During a dental examination, the oral professional goes over all the things related to the patient’s oral health, like any preexisting conditions they have and the health of their gum tissues. They also search for abnormalities, like oral cancer. Diagnostic tools like X-rays are often used during comprehensive exams to get a clearer picture of what is going on underneath the patient’s gums. Let us take a closer look at the different aspects of a comprehensive health exam.

1. Interview

A comprehensive examination typically starts with the dentist going over the patient’s medical and dental history. The oral professional will also talk to the patient about any expectations, concerns, or goals that they have in mind for their teeth.

The dentist will discuss the patient’s oral hygiene habit and their diet. They will also go over any risk factors that affect the person’s dental health.

2. Screening

The next stage of the examination involves an extraoral examination of the patient’s neck and head and an intraoral exam of the soft tissues in their mouth. This helps diagnose conditions like:

  • Problems with the temporomandibular joints
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer
  • Bite issues
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth stains that the patient wants removed

Diagnostic tools like radiographs and X-rays are also used to evaluate the patient’s oral health and to screen for diseases. These tests are performed based on each patient’s unique needs. 

3. Preventative treatments

A comprehensive dental examination also includes preventative treatments, like teeth cleanings. Cleanings are performed to get rid of tartar buildup on teeth surfaces. Tartar is hardened plaque that cannot be removed with brushing. It facilitates decay, so it needs to be removed periodically. The process takes less than an hour and involves cleaning teeth with a metal tool called a scaler. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments might also be administered if the patient is vulnerable to tooth decay.

4. Corrective treatments

Any dental issues diagnosed during the examination might be treated during the same visit. For example, fillings or composite bonding can be used to rebuild teeth that have been damaged by decay right after a comprehensive dental examination. Dentists typically recommend treating dental issues as soon as possible because this helps save money and allows the patient to avoid having to deal with toothaches and other issues.

Get a comprehensive dental examination

When was the last time that you had a dentist thoroughly examine your teeth and gums? Call or visit our Plano clinic to schedule an appointment with our dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://planodentist.net or call James M. Adkins, DDS at (469) 393-0479 for an appointment in our Plano office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Cleaning and Examinations in Plano, TX.

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