A dental exam is a routine part of the standard care that all children and adults should be getting to maintain the highest state of cleanliness for your teeth. You do not necessarily need to have a problem or discomfort to come in for a dental exam. Dentists recommend that you come in at least once every six months to have your teeth examined. That way, if you have any issues they can be addressed before they get worse and we can detect signs of disease, decay, and oral cancer early to give you the best chance of a successful recovery. Because of this, it is important to keep a regular schedule of examinations and our friendly associates at Cooley Smiles are happy to be a part of your dental health.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
The first part of the exam involves taking x-rays of your teeth. The purpose of the x-ray is to look at the development of the teeth in younger patients as well as to identify problems like cavities easier. To protect you from the low dose of radiation, you will wear a lead apron. While the low doses do not cause any negative health side-effects, it is advised that pregnant women do not do this procedure.
While the dental x-rays are being developed and examined, the next step of the exam will be a thorough dental cleaning. Cleaning is usually accomplished first by scraping away any plaque buildup around the teeth and gums. Then, our dental hygienist will clean your teeth with an electronic toothbrush to get the rest of the hardened plaque unable to be removed through scraping. After this, our hygienist will apply fluoride to build a protective coating around the teeth to protect them from future plaque buildup.
Once the cleaning is done, the x-rays will be reviewed with you by one of our dentists. After examining them, he or she will be able to positively tell you about any of the findings and what further treatment might be necessary. Additionally, our dental hygienist will take this time to ask about your dental hygiene regime and give advice on how to make it more effective, if needed.
What should I do to Prepare for My Dental Exam?
There is little preparation you have to do for the exam itself. Rather, maintaining a robust dental hygiene routine is the best way to have a quick and easy dental exam. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, using a mouthwash, and avoiding smoking are just some of the healthy habits you can do every day to keep your teeth in top shape.
While maintaining an oral hygiene regime is important before the exam, what is equally important is keeping a list of the medications you are taking and informing our dentist if you might be pregnant. Knowing what medications you are taking and if you are pregnant are vital pieces of information to know in treating you both during the exam and for follow up visits.
If you have any questions about how any of your medical histories could affect your treatment, our professional associates at Cooley Smiles would be happy to answer all of your questions! Please call (425) 569-4545 today to get any of your dental exam questions answered.