Oral Issues Your Dentist Looks for During a Dental Exam

Dental Exam Phoenix, AZ

A dental exam is performed to determine the condition of the patient’s oral health. The goal is to detect any concerns as early as possible so that they do not worsen or cause other health issues. This article discusses the types of oral issues your dentist may look for during a dental examination and cleaning visit.

What does a dentist look for during a dental exam?

During a dental exam, your dentist will first look for signs of cavities, gum disease, impacted teeth, bruxism, and oral cancer. They may check for other concerns as well according to the patient’s specific goals and reason for the visit. For example, a dentist may evaluate the spacing of the patient’s teeth if the patient wants to address tooth gaps. Every visit is personalized according to the patient’s individual needs and goals.

Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common oral issues that patients have. Consequently, it is one of the first things that a dentist will check for during a dental exam. They can thoroughly examine every part of each tooth with special dental instruments, and they can make a note if there are any cavities or issues of weakened enamel. The most notable signs of weakened enamel or cavities are a discoloration of the dental enamel (the outermost layer of teeth), tiny holes in teeth, and tooth sensitivity.

Gum disease

Gum disease is also very common, affecting nearly half of the population in the United States (Centers for Disease Control). The signs of gum disease include gum swelling, gum discoloration, and sensitive gums. There are two different types of gum disease, which are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is less severe, whereas periodontitis may show more severe symptoms such as gum recession, deep gum pockets, and the eventual loosening and loss of teeth.

Impacted teeth

Impacted teeth, which are teeth that do not emerge entirely through the gums, can increase the risk of certain oral issues such as an oral infection. Most notably, wisdom teeth (third molars) are the most vulnerable to becoming impacted.

Bruxism

Bruxism, also called nighttime teeth grinding, affects millions of Americans and can have a highly detrimental impact on oral health overall. Specifically, bruxism can lead to teeth appearing worn-down, severely damaged, and short. If a dentist detects signs of bruxism during a dental exam, then they may recommend a nightguard.

Oral cancer

Oral cancer screenings are encouraged for individuals at high risk, but a dentist can also assess for some oral cancer symptoms during a dental exam. If there are any causes for concern, then they may recommend a more extensive oral cancer screening to determine if the issue is cancer or another concern.

Cosmetic concerns

The patient may have specific cosmetic concerns that they want the dentist to check. In other cases, they may simply notice a concern that the patient may wish to address. Types of cosmetic concerns that are often detected during a dental exam include tooth stains, misaligned teeth, and gaps between teeth.

When is a dental exam recommended?

Dental exams are recommended routinely to help prevent the development of oral issues. Most dental professionals recommend a dental exam once every four to six months (two or three times a year). More frequent visits may be necessary for individuals who are going through restorative care to improve their oral health and smile. The dentist can also provide insights on how to care for your smile between check-up visits.

What are the benefits of a dental exam?

The purpose of a dental exam is to help the patient maintain optimal oral health long-term. Your dentist is able to detect the early signs of oral issues and help prevent them from worsening. This offers cost-saving benefits by avoiding the need for more costly (and invasive) restorative procedures. A dental exam can also help maintain a beautiful smile that is free from tooth stains, as well. As mentioned, most dental exams include the removal of plaque and tartar from teeth. This is in addition to the option for professional, in-office teeth whitening periodically.

Ready to schedule a dental exam?

You can schedule a dental exam here at our dental practice by contacting us today. We are more than happy to answer your questions, address your concerns, and put together a treatment plan to help you reach your goals during your first dental exam and consultation visit.

Request an appointment here: https://modernsmilesaz.com or call Modern Smiles Family Dentistry at 6023627065 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.

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

Recent Posts

5 Things A Dental Cleaning Does For You

It is a known fact that routine dental cleaning is an important part of oral health. The American Dental Association recommends that people with an overall healthy mouth visit a dentist for a regular checkup and cleaning once every six months. Those with specific dental issues or certain underlying health conditions may need to schedule…

How Often Are Dental Checkups Needed

Going in for a dental checkup might not be at the top of your priority list, but it should be. There could be many reasons why you have not been to the dentist’s office for a year or longer. Life can get busy, or you may have fears or anxieties about these visits. Whatever has…

Why People With Chronic Conditions Need Preventive Dental Care

When it comes to preventive dental care, the approach is two-fold. First, it involves going to the dentist for regular checkups and performing any recommended follow-up treatment. Second, good oral health habits are crucial for keeping the body in good working order. For people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, keeping up…

Routine Dental Care: What Are Tooth Colored Fillings

Using dental fillings to treat cavities is one of the most common types of routine dental care. The American Dental Association reports that approximately 91% of adults will experience at least one cavity in their permanent teeth at some point in time. Fortunately, the high demand for this type of dental work has led to…

Recent Posts

An Implant Dentist Explains The Parts Used In The Procedure

An Implant Dentist Explains The Parts Used In The Procedure

If you are considering implant dentistry or are about to go through the process and want to learn more about it, it is helpful to first understand the basics. Here, we will discuss the various parts that make up an implant dentistry restoration and highlight how they all work together to complete the restoration.An implant…

The Risks Of Delaying Root Canal Therapy

The Risks Of Delaying Root Canal Therapy

Have you been told by your dentist that you need a root canal? Read on to learn about the importance of getting this treatment in a timely manner. There is no good reason to delay getting a root canal. Still, many people end up doing just that due to reasons like a fear of dentists…