We are committed to helping our patients enjoy exemplary dental health. As part of this commitment, we recommend all patients attend regular, comprehensive dental exams with our team. These are designed to assess and monitor all aspects of your dental and oral health. We do this so that we can offer the right advice, support, and intervention where necessary, to keep your smile healthy, functional, and looking beautiful for as long as possible.
Here are some of the elements that you can expect to be included in a comprehensive dental exam:
Before we even get started, our team will want to talk to you about your dental health, how you feel your teeth are and if you are experiencing any issues that you are concerned about. We will be able to speak to you about your habits and how they could affect your dental health and assess your risks of developing issues such as decay and gum disease. We can then advise you on steps that you can take to minimize these risks.
Cavities occur when plaque acids erode the natural enamel of the teeth. Plaque forms consistently on our teeth as a result of the interaction between sugar in the food and drink we consume and the bacteria that is naturally found in our mouths. Not brushing it away regularly enough gives the bacteria in plaque time to create acids that erode the teeth. Catching cavities early can limit the amount of damage done to your teeth.
If you have any existing dental restorations, such as cavity fillings, crowns, or bridges, the condition of these will be checked at your dental exam. Most restorations won’t last forever and will require replacement from time to time, so this check will enable any issues to be sorted quickly before your teeth become compromised.
Gum disease is just as common as dental decay but is often overlooked by patients who focus on their teeth rather than their gums. When plaque is left to spread, it extends onto the gum tissue where it causes irritation and infection. This triggers the start of gum disease – a serious inflammatory condition that left untreated, could lead to severe pain and tooth loss. Advanced gum disease has also been linked to chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Your dentist will check to see if you are affected by gum disease and make recommendations for preventing any damage to your oral health.
Most patients are recommended to have dental x-rays at least once every year. This is because a large percentage of teeth are actually found below the gum line and aren’t visible to the naked eye. An x-ray can reveal any problems that are hidden during a physical examination of your teeth.
Oral cancer screening is routinely performed at every comprehensive dental exam. Your face, neck and mouth will be checked for any abnormalities that may warrant further investigation. The earlier oral cancers are detected, the more likely they are to be successfully treated, making this an integral part of any comprehensive dental exam.
Some dental exams are also followed by a professional clean of your teeth, although you may need to make this as a separate appointment with your hygienist. A professional clean is a much deeper, more advanced clean that removes the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that you can’t deal with at home. If you have gum disease, you may need an even more invasive clean that also removed plaque and bacteria from below the gum line, but this will certainly require an additional appointment. Your dental exam dentist will advise you if you need a clean at the end of your visit.
Our comprehensive dental exams help to ensure that our patients enjoy the best possible oral health. Schedule your appointment today by contacting our friendly and professional dental team in Atlanta, GA.