General dentistry covers different services aimed at diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral health issues. It is not just important to keep the oral cavity healthy, but it also affects general wellbeing. Continue reading to find answers to some frequently asked questions about general dentistry.Regular visits to the dentist are important for oral and general wellbeing.…
What to Expect at an Exam With a General Dentist
A dental examination with the general dentist is the most effective way to detect anomalies in the oral cavity and prevent minor issues from worsening. However, many people stay away from dental checkups because they are not sure of what happens during the appointment. In this article, you will learn more about what to expect during the dental exam.
A routine dental exam
The general dentist will handle the dental checkup, aided by dental assistants and a dental hygienist if the patient needs a dental cleaning. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a routine dental exam.
Inquiry about medical history
Upon the patient’s arrival at the office, the dentist will need to learn more about their oral health. The dental professional will ask questions about the patient’s current medications, ongoing healing interventions, allergies, smoking habits or alcohol intake. The dentist will need to know if there is a preexisting medical condition for which the patient is undergoing treatment.
After providing the needed information, the dentist may ask about past dental procedures, surgeries and history of anesthesia. These details provide the dental professional with the necessary insight to create a patient profile and set the groundwork for a successful treatment plan.
The next step of the dental exam is a careful examination of the oral cavity structures, including the teeth, gums, jaws and sinuses. This step may include the following:
Dental x-rays are an important part of an exam and are often used to discover anomalies around the oral cavity that are obscure to the naked eyes. Before checking specifically for certain issues, the dentist may need to take a full x-ray of the mouth. X-rays are not always a part of a general exam – they are required when the dentist suspects there is an issue that requires further investigation. The x-ray can show developing teeth decay, issues with the jawbone or infections.
During a dental exam, the general dentist will clean plaque and tartar that often accumulates on the teeth and beneath the gum line. Many dental professionals now utilize ultrasonic cleaning devices for cleaning. After removing the tartar, the teeth will be polished to restore luster. Patients will also learn proper ways to brush and floss for proper oral hygiene.
After cleaning the teeth thoroughly, the dentist will perform a physical assessment of the oral cavity and check x-rays to know if there are potential dental issues. They will also evaluate the patient’s risk of oral health conditions.
Oral cancer screening
With the increasing number of oral cancer diagnoses, many dentists now perform an oral cancer screening during routine dental exams. Oral cancer is a serious condition that tends to spread quickly and can be life-threatening. Early detection of the condition improves the chances of successful treatment. The dentist will examine different parts of the jaw and soft tissues during the screening.
If you would like to know more about the dental exam provided by the general dentist, contact the dental office today to book an appointment.
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