Dental Exams and X-Rays
Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help to avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends 6 month checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage.
How it's done
A good comprehensive exam should include the following evaluations:
- Medical history review: The dentist will assess any medical conditions, medications, or illnesses that may affect your dental health.
- Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: Your mouth will be checked for fractured or decayed teeth.
- Examination of existing restorations: Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good condition.
Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas between the teeth or below the gums. Four bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months and a panoramic x-ray is taken every 3-5 years.