Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help avoid the later financial costs associated with large treatment plans. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends two annual checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, the majority of possible issues can be caught while they remain in an early stage.
How It’s Done
Your dentist will first examine your mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high-intensity lights. They will look for cracked and decayed teeth, as well as review other essential items such as:
- Medical history review: The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may impact your dental health.
- Examination of tooth decay: Your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
- Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be examined for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: The gums and bone around your teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
- Examination of existing restorations: Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order.
Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other concealed issues, especially in the areas below the gums. Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years.