Why have a dental exam, and how is it important to maintaining general dental health? Having a healthy mouth can actually lower the risk of developing major non-tooth medical problems like stroke or heart disease. A dental exam is one of the ways to achieve optimal general health.
Dental exams are important, even if one has no teeth. They are used to check the mouth's overall health, including the jawbone, gums, and teeth. You should have a dental exam at least every six months, even more frequently if you are suffering from periodontal disease.
Importance of Dental Exams
Dental exams are vital for preventive dental care, and are needed to help you keep a healthy lifestyle. While many people would think that dental exams are frivolous, and are an unnecessary expense, dental exams are, in fact, one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve optimal general and dental health.
Not only are they designed to maintain your teeth, dental exams are also useful to treat and diagnose dental problems, as several dental conditions do not manifest outward symptoms. Not undergoing a dental exam may cause a minor dental cavity to develop into a more expensive treatment, particularly a root canal.
During the Exam
General dentists perform the exam, and such examination mainly consists of teeth cleaning and a checkup. However, the exams may vary depending on individual needs. In the case of adults, for instance, dentists may be more thorough looking for gum disease signs. In children, however, dentists may be more meticulous in looking for tooth decay signs.
During the examination, the dentist may perform various tasks aimed toward checking your dental health. Some things to expect during an exam are:
Dental exam (visual exam)
Oral cancer screening
As the exam is finished, the dentist will diagnose your condition (if you have it) and he/she may pore over possible treatments. You may be referred to a more specialized dental professional, if required. If the dentist has not detected any problems, you still need to have your bi-yearly dental exam, anyway. The exam usually takes one hour, and you can go back to your normal activities at once after leaving the dentist.
Preparing for Your Exam
Why have a dental exam, and how will you prepare for it? You do not have to fear if you are undergoing an exam, which is after all relatively painless. To make your exam run smoothly, you may have to be mindful of some pointers.
For your initial examination with a new dentist, you may have to provide the dentist with your medical history, including non-dental illnesses. You may also be asked to list or name existing medication to help prevent any drug interaction possibility. You should also be honest when it comes to alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, as they may affect your treatment's outcome.
If you are pregnant, you may have to inform the dentist as X-rays and some treatments are not prescribed during pregnancy. For subsequent visits, inform the dentist of any prescription or medical status changes.
Why have a dental exam? It's not only about dental health, it's also about your general health.