An oral exam is a crucial component of your oral hygiene routine. The American Dental Association recommends at least two exams every year. These exams are designed to check the structures within your mouth for signs of damage, decay, and other issues. We can spot issues in their earliest stages, before symptoms begin to appear, which then allows us to take action sooner, preventing potentially serious issues from arising. We check your teeth, your gums, and your other oral tissues. In addition to routine exams, oral exams are also performed to diagnose the cause of specific symptoms, which enables you to get the treatment you need to restore the health of your mouth and your quality of life.
Different Types of Exams
There are a few different types of oral exams that we perform.
Comprehensive. A comprehensive exam is a thorough oral exam that is done when you are a new patient, or it has been a while since your last exam. Along with a thorough exam, digital X-rays are taken.
Periodic. A periodic exam is your regular, routine oral exams that occur every six months. X-rays are not always taken.
Limited. A limited exam is performed when you are experiencing symptoms of an oral health issue. Depending upon your specific symptoms, we may or may not take X-rays.
Follow-up. A follow-up exam is done after you have received treatment for a specific issue to make sure that you are healing properly.
Your Oral Exam
An oral exam is a fairly straightforward procedure. We begin with a close look at the visible structures within your mouth. We examine your teeth, checking for signs of damage, decay, and cavities. We assess the condition of your gums, checking for signs of redness, swelling, recession, and other issues. We also scan the soft tissues in your mouth, looking for unusual growths or other abnormalities that might point toward oral cancer.
After we have thoroughly examined your mouth, we then discuss it with you. We discuss lifestyle habits, such as smoking and alcohol use, as well as your oral hygiene habits. We can discuss necessary treatments for any issues that we find. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, time during your appointment will be devoted to addressing those as well.
Oral exams are a crucial component in maintaining optimal oral health. Call Northstar Dental today to schedule your exam today at (303) 481-3901.