Comprehensive Dental Examination in Santa Clara
Regular oral exams are necessary if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid dental emergencies. This enables your dentist or oral hygienist to spot cavities, infections or any other dental or gum problems at an early stage. This essentially lets you get rid of these issues easily and at lower costs.
In addition to this, your dental practitioner will also examine any fillings, crowns, bridges or restorations that you have undergone to make sure that they are doing their job properly.
What is a dental exam and what are the steps involved in it?
In a dental exam, your dentist or oral hygienist carefully examines your teeth, gums and most of your mouth to ensure that your oral health is optimal. Oral examinations can also be targeted, meaning that you can go in for a check-up if you have a specific issue in any one particular area of the mouth These could include pain, swelling, broken teeth or other dental problems.
Dental exams can be divided into four main categories:
Comprehensive Oral Evaluation: These are performed on patients who are seeing the dentist for an oral exam for the first time or it has been a while since the patient’s last visit.
Regular/Periodic Oral Check-up: These are regularly scheduled oral check-ups at intervals of 6 months during which your dentist thoroughly examines your teeth and gums. This may be a simple physical check-up or could include an x-ray etc, in case there are any specific symptoms the patient is dealing with.
Limited Oral Check-up: In this examination, the dentist focuses on particular symptoms that the patient is undergoing to find their underlying cause. For this reason, this is also called a problem focused examination.
Follow Up Examination: Your dentist may want to check your oral health and hygiene a few days after treatment. These kinds of evaluations are called follow up examinations. During these, the dentist may check whether or not the treatment is having a positive impact on your oral health if you require any extra treatment etc.
What are dental X-Rays and why do you need them?
Dental x-rays are a crucial part of oral health maintenance and disease diagnosis. There are many different types of scans that dentists perform depending on the symptoms and probable underlying cause. These include full mouth scans, bitewing x-rays which focus on the upper and lower sets of lower back teeth only, periapical scans that show all the teeth in a single frame, panoramic x-rays that show the entire mouth including jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular (TMJ) joint, in one image.
X-rays make it easier for dentists to spot decay, bone loss, gum disease, possible infection, abscesses, cysts, tumors and bone changes linked to some diseases, depending upon the type of scan.
How safe are Dental X-Rays?
The current generation x-ray machines and radiographs are extremely safe as they expose you to only a small amount of radiation in order to get a scan. Moreover, the benefit of the examination outweighs the risk of getting exposed to the minute radiation.
As a side note, make sure to inform your dentist in case you are pregnant. Your dental practitioner may hold off the x-ray scan to protect the developing embryo from the radiation or use a special apron that can block off the radiation and keep the baby safe.
Maria Balce, D.D.S.is a leading dentist in Santa Clara, where you can get your regular dental examination. Call our office at (626) 336-7567 to book an appointment.