What We Look for During a Dental Examination

Posted on: January 16, 2018

We encourage you to make 2018 the year that you take charge of your oral health and improve the appearance of your smile. This is all possible and easy to do by scheduling a dental examination with our office.

Oral health is critical for overall health

We realize that many people are unaware of the overall value of maintaining good oral health. It is a common misconception that the health of a person's teeth and gums are not directly related to the health of their overall body. In truth, they are entirely related. For example, doctors have found the same plaque in patients with heart disease as defined in the mouth. Though it is unclear how the correlation words, what is important to know is that it is possible to control dental plaque but much more difficult to control plaque buildup in the arteries. For this reason, we encourage patients to be serious about their oral health and improving it.

What we look for during a dental examination

During an exam, we will look for signs of dental decay:

  • Gum disease
  • Dental damage
  • Infections

If we observe any of these symptoms, we will make recommendations for treatment. It is far better to identify and treat the problem quickly so that it does not have the opportunity to spread. For example, if dental decay is caught right away, we can remove the decayed portion of the tooth, clean the area and then fill the cavity with a tooth colored filling material. However, if the decay remains in the tooth, it can spread and lead to an infection where we will need to complete a root canal in order to remove it and then place a crown around the tooth to restore it. This is a far more extensive and invasive procedure. While a root canal certainly is a valuable procedure, it is in a person's best interest to avoid needing one by simply visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

Options for dental restorations

We observe any teeth that are damaged when conducting a dental examination. We can take steps to restore the tooth – both the appearance and functionality of it. The type of restorative solution we recommend is going to be based on the level of damage. It could include:

  • Dental bonding
  • Dental veneers
  • Dental crowns

All three are effective but we typically use dental bonding when the damage is minor, veneers when a tooth is cracked or chipped and dental crowns if the damage is severe and much of the enamel is missing. These are things we will discuss during an examination after identifying dental damage.

Discussing oral health

Even if nothing is wrong, we will take the time to have a conversation with patients and remind them of what they can do to improve their oral health. This includes discussing things like dietary changes or lifestyle changes. For example, we may recommend certain foods to eat or drinks to avoid. Making those subtle changes at home can lead to an increase in good oral health.

This is also an excellent time to ask questions. We invite patients to do so since the more informed a patient is, the more empowered they will be to make healthy choices.

Schedule a dental examination

Since this is the beginning of the year, it is the perfect time to call our office and schedule an exam. We recommend having them twice per year since this is the best way to be proactive in managing and improving oral health. Get started by calling today.

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