A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will perform the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Why is a Dental Exam Important?
Patients in Houston, TX of any age should be attending dental checkups at least once each year for comprehensive needs. Dental exams can also be carried out if necessary to assess dental discomfort, trauma, or other localized conditions that may form between appointments. Gum disease— the primary instigator of missing teeth— and dental caries might not cause obvious signs to develop until the more progressed stages. If dental issues are discovered right away, our staff can typically offer a wider range of solutions for treatment.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that all infants and toddlers should go to a dental practitioner before they are a year old. To address the needs of patients at this early age, we can address many issues, such as teething and finger-sucking, and lead you in cleaning your young one's teeth and gums as their mouth structures grow. Annual comprehensive oral exams could help your children establish effective oral practices early on and allow them to achieve healthy smiles for a lifetime.
Dental Exams and Cleanings Reviews
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by registered dental hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gumline and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Dental Exam and Cleaning FAQ
How often should I schedule a dental exam?
We recommend for most patients schedule a dental exam about every six months. However, some patients may require more frequent cleanings depending on their unique situation. After your examination, we'll let you know when you should schedule your next appointment with us.
Are dental cleanings painful?
No. The vast majority of our patients report feeling nothing other than minor discomfort during their cleaning. If for some reason, you do experience pain, we can always offer a light anesthetic to keep you feeling completely comfortable.
What is the difference between a dental exam and cleaning?
For a dental cleaning, our team will scrape off plaque, tartar, and other maladies from your teeth. On the other hand, during an exam, we will closely analyze all of your teeth, mouth, and throat in order to determine whether or not there are any signs of cavities, disease, cancer, or other potential problems.
Protect Your Beautiful Smile
Having a nice smile takes more effort than simply visiting a dentist if you have an issue. Routine dental exams and dental cleanings at Evolution Dentistry can optimize chances for prompt detection and treatment for oral issues and improve your overall oral health. Set up your family's yearly dental evaluations and cleaning schedule with Dr. El-Kheir or Dr. Gemp at our Houston, TX, facility at your earliest convenience!