A Great Dentist

Dental Exams: What Can You Expect

March 30, 2016
Posted By: Drew Gripentrog, DMD
Your Oral Examination

It is recommended that you see your dentist two times per year, unless otherwise noted, for cleanings and exams.  While regular cleanings make sense, what is so important about dental exams? During your exam your dentist will look for early signs of several general and dental health concerns.  At Gallery Park Dental, Dr. Jason Rogers and Dr. Drew Gripentrog, will conduct a thorough evaluation of each individual tooth, the gum tissue and the bone surrounding each tooth, at each exam, to ensure there are no oral health concerns.

What Your Dentist Looks For During Your Exam

Oral Cancer Screening:  Your dentist will examine your face, neck and mouth for signs of oral cancer.  They can check for any lumps, bumps, bruises, irregularities or abnormalities of the skin, bone and/or lymph nodes by palpating your neck, cheeks and under your jaw.  Your dentist will also check under your tongue and the inside of your cheeks for any red or white lesions.

Tooth Decay:  Your dentist will complete a thorough examination of each individual tooth using a mirror and explorer (dental instrument used to touch the various surfaces of the tooth) to identify any soft spots, discoloration or abnormalities of each tooth.  X-rays may also be necessary to examine areas between teeth and under the surface of each tooth which may not be available for visual examination.

Gum Disease and Bone Loss:  When checking for gum disease, your dentist will look for signs of swelling, redness, inflammation, irritation or bleeding.  Your dentist will use a special instrument to measure the pocket depth between your teeth and gums.  During this examination bone loss is being measured.  If there are pocket depths deeper than 3 millimeters you may need to have periodontal treatment.  X-rays may not be required at every exam but will be taken at intervals, prescribed by your dentist, to monitor any changes in bone levels.

TMD Screening:  During your examination a comprehensive evaluation of your temporomandibular joint and muscles of mastication will be completed to identify any changes or irregularities associated with the joint.

Importance of Routine Exams

Even with optimum daily maintenance and regular cleanings it is possible to develop tooth decay, gum disease or oral cancer.  By receiving exams twice a year, unless otherwise prescribed by your dentist, you will receive the best opportunity to catch problems early so they can be treated quickly.  If you live in the Glenview, IL area and would like more information regarding dental exams or to schedule your exam please call Gallery Park Dental today!

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