A dental exam is a checkup performed by a dentist or dental hygiene specialist with a keen focus on your gums and teeth. Dentists recommend a dental exam for both adults and children every six months. For optimal oral health, a dental exam is critical, since underlying dental problems can be identified and prevented from escalating in the future. It is important to remember that dental health problems can be painful and serious if not identified and treated in the early stages. Our dental experts at Smiles of Groton have the required expertise and skills to perform a comprehensive dental exam for you and your loved ones to ensure you achieve and maintain optimal health.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam
The dentist will clean and scrape your teeth to remove plaque and tartar, and then floss your teeth. Your teeth will then be brushed using a special electric toothbrush. We will then apply fluoride gel or foam to the teeth to avoid cavities. The hygienist may give you tips on how to take care of your teeth like ways of proper brushing and flossing.
What Happens During the X-Ray
A dental hygienist will place a thick covering called a lead apron over the chest. An additional covering is put on your neck to protect your thyroid gland. The coverings protect your body from radiation. The hygienist will have you bite on a piece of plastic, place a scanner outside your mouth, and take a picture. Depending on the type of x-ray, you might repeat the process of biting down in different areas of your mouth as instructed by the dentist. A full mouth series x-ray may be taken once every few years to check overall oral health. Bitewing x-rays can be used more often to check tooth problems and cavities.
During Dentist's Checkup
During the checkup procedure, the dentist will go through your x-rays for tooth problems or cavities. The dentist will then examine your teeth and gums to determine if they are healthy. The dentist will check on your bite to see if the top and bottom teeth are aligned and fit. If not, you may be referred to an orthodontist. Oral cancer is also checked at this point, inside the lips, under your jaw, sides of the tongue, and roof and floor of the mouth.
Who Requires a Dental Exam?
A dental exam is vital for every individual in your family. If you have bleeding gums, also known as gingivitis, or any other gum conditions, you may require more dental exams, as the dentist may want to monitor how the condition is progressing and responding to treatment. If you have these conditions, you may be required to see a dentist three to four times a year. This may prevent you from developing more serious conditions such as periodontitis which might lead to infections and potential tooth loss.
If you or a loved one requires a dental exam, please visit us at Smiles of Groton where you will find a caring team of specialists ready to attend to you and ensure that you have optimal oral health. Call us at to learn more about dental exams and to schedule an appointment at our office.