Are you prepared for someone to examine your mouth closely? Whether you know it or not, people look at your mouth all the time. Americans, in particular, want people they come into contact with to have a nice healthy smile, full of white, straight teeth. Someone is probably judging you on your smile right now. If you are worried about how your smile looks, we can help. Christensen Family Dentistry can give you more information about healthy smiles thorough dental exams. Dental exams are one way that we can make sure your smile stays white for years to come.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
When is the last time you had your teeth examined? Has it been awhile? You should have your teeth checked every six months. It is important to have your teeth and gums checked because a lot of serious problems with your mouth can be fixed quickly before they become big problems. Depending on how long it has been since you had a dental exam, we may want to begin with an exam before you get your teeth cleaned. We might also want to wait until after your teeth are cleaned to examine them.
In general, the dental exam is conducted in several steps. First, we will take x-rays of your mouth. X-rays help us keep track of changes in your mouth over time. These days, x-rays are painless and take very little time. After you get x-rays, someone will do a preliminary check on your teeth. We will look at your teeth, gums, tongue, palate and inside your cheeks, usually with a mirror. We are looking for any potential problems in your mouth before we begin cleaning and checking.
What We Are Looking For
After your teeth have been cleaned, we will do a thorough check of your mouth. We will use tools and a mirror to check each tooth as well as your gums and other structures in your mouth. We are looking for three problems. First, we are checking for tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth eat away at your teeth and makes holes. Over time, those holes become large enough to cause infections and pain. If tooth decay gets bad enough, the tooth will fall out. The infection from that tooth could spread to other teeth as well.
We are also looking for gum disease. The bacteria from your mouth can also cause infection along the gumline. The infection, which is gum disease, can spread to several places in your mouth. If the infection becomes bad enough, your teeth will begin to fall out. Finally, we are also checking for bumps or spots in your mouth. These bumps or spots might be the first sign of oral cancer. When oral cancer first appears, it is painless. By the time you feel pain, cancer has spread. We can catch it early, and make sure you begin treatment as soon as possible when there is a better chance you will make a full recovery.
Do you have questions about dental exams? Give Christensen Family Dentistry a call at (480) 964-2131. Let us help you ease your fears of visiting us!