It’s common for people to get anxious or nervous before a dental exam and teeth cleaning. However, we find that sometimes just knowing what to expect can help calm your nerves and make the experience go smoothly. In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss what you can expect in a dental exam.
Continue reading to learn more and when you are ready to schedule a routine dental exam and teeth cleaning, we have two convenient locations: Century Dental in Jackson and Seaview Dental in Eatontown.
Initial Dental Exam
Your initial dental exam will be performed by one of our friendly, professional dental hygienists. This will include the hygienist removing any plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth, polishing your teeth, taking x-rays if necessary, and reviewing your at-home oral hygiene habits. The initial dental exam is how we determine the overall health of your teeth and gums.
Review of Your Oral Hygiene Habits
One of the first things our dental hygienist will go over with you is your oral hygiene habits. How often do you brush, floss, and use mouthwash? They’ll additionally ask if you’ve been having any complications with your teeth or gums that they should know about before beginning the examination.
While it can be tempting to exaggerate here about things like how often you floss, the more honest you are with the hygienist, the more the hygienist will be able to help get you back on the right track. If you are having trouble flossing or finding a toothpaste that you like, we can make suggestions to help enhance your oral hygiene habits.
Cleaning and Polishing
The next step in a dental exam is cleaning and polishing. The hygienist will go over all of your teeth and scrape off any plaque, tartar, or stains that may exist. After that is complete, your teeth will be polished with an electric brush.
During your dental exam, you may or may not need to have x-rays taken. This depends upon several variables, including how long it’s been since your last visit and whether or not you’ve been experiencing problems with your teeth or gums. Dental x-rays are quick and painless and help our dentist get a more thorough look at what is going on in your teeth.
After the dental hygienist has completed the initial exam and cleaning, you will meet with one of our expert dentists, who will perform an oral cancer screening, review any x-rays taken, and discuss treatment options if necessary. If the dental hygienist has found any cavities, signs of gum disease, or any other problems, they will be discussed with the dentist so that he can check on them as well.
Oral Cancer Screening
The dentist will look around inside of your mouth and feel your neck and jawline to check for any signs of oral cancer. This only takes about a minute and is extremely important. In the event that oral cancer is forming, the earlier it is caught, the better.
If you had x-rays taken, our dentist will review them with you. Sometimes problems may not be visible on the surface, so these x-rays allow the dentist to take a closer look.
Discussion of Treatment Options
If the dental hygienist or dentist has noticed a cavity, gingivitis, or another oral problem, this is when the dentist will discuss the treatment options with you. When it’s something as simple as a cavity, you’ll be asked to make another appointment to have it cleaned and filled. However, more complicated issues may have more than one possible treatment option, and the dentist will give you an honest opinion on your best course of action. The dentist can answer all of your questions as well.
Schedule a Follow-Up Appointment
If you need any follow-up treatment, you can make another appointment in the near future to have it taken care of. If you have a clean bill of health, it’s time to schedule your next routine dental exam and teeth cleaning.