Dental Exams

Regular dental exams are vital to maintaining good oral health and overall wellness. During a comprehensive dental exam, we will check for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other potential issues. Early detection of dental problems is key to preventing further damage and more intensive treatment down the road. Even if you are not experiencing any obvious symptoms, it’s recommended to visit your dentist at least twice per year for a professional cleaning and examination. Contact Indian Trail Dental Studio today to book your appointment.

What Is a Dental Exam?

A dental exam is a comprehensive checkup performed by our care team to evaluate your oral health. During a dental exam, we will thoroughly inspect your teeth and gums for any signs of decay or disease and also screen for oral cancer. We will also evaluate your bite, jaw function, and any existing dental work. After the exam, we will discuss any problems found and recommend a treatment plan to address those issues and help keep your smile healthy.

Bacteria Growth

Our care team will check for plaque and tartar buildup during a dental exam, which are caused by bacteria growth in the mouth. If left untreated, this bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Fracture Lines

We will also inspect for any cracks, chips, or fracture lines in the teeth during a dental exam. Even small cracks can allow bacteria to enter the tooth and cause infection, so it’s important to identify and treat any fractures early to prevent more serious dental issues.

Oral Cancer Screenings

We will perform an oral cancer screening during a dental exam to check for any suspicious lesions, sores, or other abnormalities in the mouth that could indicate oral cancer or precancerous changes. Early detection of oral cancer is critical to successful treatment, so regular dental exams that include a cancer screening are important for maintaining oral and overall health.

External Mouth Exams

Our care team will perform an external exam of the mouth to check for any abnormalities of the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw. Things like swollen glands, sores, lesions, or other irregularities could indicate an infection or other issue that requires treatment.

Our Dental Exam Process

Our comprehensive dental exam process is designed to thoroughly check the health of your entire mouth and identify any issues early on. We start with a review of your medical and dental history, then perform a visual inspection of your teeth, gums, and oral tissues. 

Here’s what to expect during a dental exam:

  • Medical history: A conversation with the dentist about your dental/medical history and any oral health concerns you have.
  • Inspection: An inspection of your teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, and jaw for signs of decay, infection, or other abnormalities.
  • X-rays: Potential x-rays to check for cavities, impacted teeth, cysts, or other issues not visible in a regular exam.
  • Cleaning: A professional cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar buildup and check for areas you may be missing while brushing/flossing.
  • Consultation: Consultation with your dentist to discuss findings from the exam and any recommended treatment to address any problems found.

Our comprehensive dental exam process is designed to thoroughly evaluate your oral health and identify any issues early on, so that we can provide treatment to prevent more serious problems down the road. By being proactive with your dental health through regular dental exams and cleanings, as well as daily brushing and flossing at home, you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles and avoid unnecessary discomfort or expense from advanced dental problems. If you’re ready to take the first step toward a lifetime of dental health, contact us today.

What Happens if an Exam Is Done Incorrectly or Not At All?

If a dental exam is performed incorrectly or not done at all, serious oral health issues can go undetected and worsen over time. By skipping dental exams, you risk allowing minor issues to escalate into painful and costly dental emergencies down the road. Here’s a closer look at what to expect if an exam is done incorrectly: 

  • Cavity growth: Cavities grow larger when plaque is left on teeth for a prolonged period. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that break down tooth enamel, creating holes or cavities. During dental cleanings, our care team removes built-up plaque and tartar to prevent cavities from forming or getting bigger. If cleanings are skipped, more plaque accumulates on teeth and cavities are allowed to grow unchecked.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up on teeth at the gum line. The bacteria in plaque infect the gums, causing inflammation and bleeding. As the disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with more plaque and infection. Without regular dental cleanings to remove plaque, gum disease will continue to worsen.
  • Oral cancer: Regular dental visits are crucial for early detection of oral cancer. During exams, we check for any suspicious lesions, sores, or other abnormalities in the mouth that could indicate cancer. If oral cancer is caught early, treatment is often successful. However, without routine dental care, oral cancer can go undetected until later stages when treatment becomes more complex and survival rates decrease.
  • TMJ: Missing routine dental cleanings can increase the risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). During dental visits, we check for signs of TMJ and can spot problems early before significant pain or damage occurs. 

It’s important to visit the dentist for a professional exam on a consistent schedule to maintain oral and overall health.

Finding a Trustworthy Dental Office

Dental exams are vital to monitoring oral health and catching any problems early. Without professional dental screenings, cavities and gum disease can go undetected and worsen, or serious conditions like oral cancer may progress unnoticed.

By not skipping regular dental visits and professional oral health checks, you can get treatment for any issues promptly and have the best chances of keeping your teeth and gums healthy for life. If you have any questions about dental exams, contact our team at Indian Trail Dental Studio today.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s recommended to get a dental exam and professional cleaning twice per year. This helps remove any plaque buildup and allows the dentist to closely monitor your oral health.

Brush and floss thoroughly before your exam to remove any food particles. Let our care team know about any medications you’re taking or changes in your overall health. Be ready to discuss any oral health concerns you have.

Dental exams are painless and non-invasive. They involve looking at your teeth, gums, and mouth. If any problems are detected that require treatment, we will discuss options with you to address the issue before more extensive work is needed.

Yes, a dental exam is non-invasive and does not involve any sedation, so it is safe to drive yourself to and from your appointment.

Hasmi R. Patel, DMD

Dr. Hasmi Patel

Exceeding Your Expectations

Your Smile is in Great Hands at Indian Trail Dental Studio