Your teeth should last you a lifetime. A healthy mouth allows you to chew properly, speak clearly, and smile confidently. Your oral health affects your general health. By caring for your natural teeth you are contributing to your overall well-being and enjoyment of life.
When most people think of a dental examination, they think of an evaluation of the teeth. Other oral tissues also provide us a great deal of information about your health, both dental and general. A complete dental examination at our office will include the following:
Examination of Teeth
The doctors and hygienists conduct a visual examination of your teeth to assess the existing restorations as well as check for clinically visible signs of tooth decay, fractures, signs of clenching or grinding or any other concerns that may require attention.
X-rays are an important diagnostic tool used as part of a dental examination in order to detect tooth decay, periodontal disease, tumors, cysts, development problems, or any other abnormalities that are not clinically visible in the mouth. Many conditions such as abscesses, tooth decay and bone loss can become serious before they are visible clinically.
Wear and Stress Check
By looking for early signs of stress or wear on teeth, we are evaluating the potential for future problems and finding ways to prevent them.
Care and restoration of the teeth is pointless if the periodontal (supporting) structures of the teeth are unhealthy, and teeth do not have proper support. It is essential to maintain the health of the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. Our dentists and hygienists will check for early warning signs of periodontal (gum) disease and explain the procedures necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy for your lifetime.
Oral Cancer Screening
Not only will the doctors check the hard tissues of the mouth, such as tooth and bone, but they will also evaluate the soft tissues. The inside surfaces of the mouth will be carefully checked to rule out any changes—some of which may be precursors to different forms of oral cancer. The doctor will explain his or her findings to you.
Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Examination
The examination is concluded with an evaluation of the health and function of your temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ). You will be asked to open wide, move your jaw from side to side and relax as the doctor checks the health of your TMJ. The doctor will also palpate the muscles of mastication (the muscles you chew with) to determine their size and tenderness, assessing for any signs of inflammation or dysfunction. Finally, the doctor will assess your bite for correctness (occlusion).