What Happens During A Comprehensive Dental Exam?

Comprehensive dental exams are routine services that are used to promote healthier teeth and gums. If you are not accustomed to routine dental care, you may not know what to expect from a comprehensive dental exam. Here is a bit of information to help you better understand these dental visits and what occurs during them.

Services During a Comprehensive Dental Exam

Routine dental exams help keep your teeth and gums in great shape through early detection and preventive services. 

Dental X-rays

During a comprehensive exam, x-rays of your mouth are taken. The resulting images can reveal problems that may not be easily discerned with the naked eye, such as beginning tooth decay, dental infections, and bone loss.

Cancer Detection

A dentist also looks for signs of cancer during a comprehensive exam. As he or she examines the oral cavity, the dentist notes tissue discoloration, growths, changes in tissue texture and tissue discharge that could indicate the presence of cancer.

If cancer is confirmed, treatment can be started soon after the disease's discovery. Earlier detection and treatment can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Dental Cleanings

In addition, your dentist may provide preventive services, such as dental cleanings, during the exam. A dental cleaning removes accumulations of tartar, which is hardened plaque, from the teeth. The tartar removal gives the teeth a whiter appearance. In addition, the elimination of the tartar reduces the number of hiding places in the mouth for dental plaque and oral bacteria.

Fluoride Treatments

Another preventive service that may be provided during a routine exam is a fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments help strengthen your teeth to prevent decay.

The fluoride aids in the remineralization of your tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to damage from bacterial acids. As acid erodes the tooth enamel, important minerals are dissolved. Fluoride attracts these minerals back to the surface of the tooth enamel. In addition, it connects with the minerals to create a new type of tooth enamel that better resists acid-related damage.

When Is a Comprehensive Dental Exam Performed?

A comprehensive dental exam is usually provided during your first dental visit with a dental provider. In addition, the exam may be performed during your regularly scheduled routine visits twice a year. 

If you have not visited a dentist within the past six months, contact the office of a dental professional in your area to schedule a comprehensive dental exam.