Complete Oral Exam

The dental exam is critical to your ongoing oral health—and only your

dentist can perform this.

The exam consists, in part, of the dentist looking inside your mouth.

In the past, you may not have ever realized an exam was taking place.

Perhaps you thought the dentist was checking the work the hygienist

had just completed.

Not so. Dr.Tang actually looks in your mouth for things that can affect

your oral—and your overall—health. Many of these are things you can't

see on your own, but that a dentist is trained to detect. Here is some of

what your dentist is looking for during a dental exam:

  • damaged, missing or decayed teeth

  • early signs of cavities

  • condition of your gums, such as periodontal pockets, inflammation or other signs of gum disease (which can lead to tooth and bone loss)

  • to see how previous dental work such as root canals, fillings and crowns are holding up

  • early signs of mouth or throat cancer, such as white lesions or blocked salivary glands

  • other suspicious growths or cysts

  • position of your teeth (e.g., spacing, bite)

  • signs that you clench or grind your teeth (a treatable problem that can cause headache or sore jaw and can, if serious, lead to hearing loss and tooth loss)

  • signs of bleeding or inflammation on your tongue and on the roof or floor of your mouth

  • the overall health and function of your temporomandibular joint (which joins the jaw to skull), checking for signs of disorders that can cause pain or tenderness

  • the general condition of the bones in your face, jaw and around your mouth

The dental exam can catch problems early—before you see or feel them—when they are much easier and less expensive to treat.

 

As well as the visual inspection of your mouth, the exam includes:

  • a complete medical history so the dentist knows about any health conditions that may affect the success of dental treatments or procedures or that may be associated with oral health problems.

It may also include:

  • an examination of your neck area, with the dentist feeling the glands and lymph nodes for possible signs of inflammation that could indicate general health problems; and

  • dental x-rays, if necessary. These can show such problems as cavities under existing fillings, fractures, impacted wisdom teeth, decay under your gum line and bone loss caused by gum disease.

Dr.Tang will explain what's happening during the exam and give you a summary of the findings. If not, be sure to ask. As patient, you are a full partner in your oral health care.

Hygiene Services

 

Dental hygienists help you prevent gum disease and tooth decay. They work with you to help keep your mouth healthy Dental hygienists help you attain and maintain oral health, making an important contribution to your overall health.
 

During your visit, the dental hygienist will:

  • have prepared for your appointment to ensure your safety

  • review your chart and medical history

  • review your current medical status with you – there are many medical conditions and medications that may influence dental hygiene treatment

  • examine your head and neck for abnormalities

  • examine your tongue, gums, teeth and all other areas of your mouth

  • measure the attachment of the gums to your teeth (probing)

  • record all findings on your chart

  • take prescribed radiographs (x-rays) and interpret them for dental hygiene purposes

  • scale your teeth using hand or mechanical instruments removing hard and soft deposits (plaque and tarter)

  • polish your teeth, if needed, to remove stains

if needed:

  • apply fluoride to strengthen teeth

  • apply agents to desensitize teeth

  • apply pit and fissure sealants to seal grooves for decay prevention

PROVIDE EDUCATION DURING ALL PHASES OF TREATMENT

customize an oral care program for you – you will be informed on, and given advice about matters related to your oral health including nutrition, smoking cessation and plaque control and the use of various oral care products, their purpose and effective use.

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