There are several components to a comprehensive dental exam, which is the type of exam you will receive at our office as a new patient. This exam will cover an evaluation of both inside your mouth, as well as outside on the skin, lips, and throat as part of the oral cancer screening. The dental exam includes a series of x-rays that the dentist utilizes to help diagnose any issues in the form of cavities, bone loss, tooth fractures, or growth patterns in children. A periodontal evaluation is also conducted to determine the health of your gums and bone holding your teeth.
If you are in pain and are coming to be treated for a single problem, the dentist will conduct a limited, problem-focused exam. One or more x-rays will be taken for the region of interest, and the dentist will only focus on that one area that is bothering you. In almost all cases, after the problem is addressed and treatment is rendered, the dentist will recommend you come back for a comprehensive exam to ensure that you know of any other future dental issues that may arise again.
The American Dental Association reminds consumers that the frequency of their regular dental visits should be tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history. Many individuals can get away with two visits a year, at which the dentist will perform periodic evaluations. However, some individuals may require more visits depending on their periodontal status or level of risk for developing cavities.