The Basics of Dental Care

Dental Instruments Dental Exams and why we do them

Like any medical exam, we are looking for health issues in the oral cavity, head, and neck. During the dental examination, we will regularly evaluate for the following:

  • Overall health of the teeth
  • Signs of decay
  • Potential problems like abnormal wear or cracks
  • Existing restorations that may be failing or showing signs of wear
  • Periodontal problems like bone loss or gum disease
  • Oral cancer screening for tumors or lesions
  • TMJ or muscle problems

From all of this information, we are able to assess a patient’s oral health status. Treatment plans and watch lists can then be generated as appropriate. We are able to tailor the treatment to the individual and prioritize their needs based on urgency and financial considerations.

Tooth Icon Why do patients need dental x-rays?

Teeth x-ray photo

Dental x-rays are used by the dentist to see potential problems that exist in areas we can’t see directly—the space between teeth, inside the tooth, and areas in and around the bone holding the teeth in place. Without this information, we can only “guess” that everything in your mouth is ok. Dental x-rays are updated once a year and provide a visible history of areas in the mouth. We can watch for changes over time and prevent problems before they become severe. Without this valuable information, we have to wait until the problem is clearly visible before intervening, often after the loss of vital tooth structure or the onset of pain. Identifying problems early is always the best way to prevent the need for more costly dental procedures in the future.

Tooth Icon Things patients should look out for every day

Pain is not the only factor that indicates there is a problem. Pay attention to other noticeable changes, such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Inflammation (a destructive property – it kills cells)
  • Discoloration of a single tooth
  • Loose adult teeth
  • Loss of gum levels
  • Loss of bone levels

Even minor sensitivities can further indicate a potential problem. That’s not to say you should see the dentist every time your teeth are a little sensitive to cold. It is more about how frequent the sensitivity might be and if it always happens in the same place every time.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Advanced Technology Modern Techniques Friendly, Helpful Staff A Value-Focused Approach