About Dental Exams
To help stop oral health diseases and problems before they get out of hand, everyone should schedule a dental examination with their dentist at least once a year. During the exam, the dentist will use several methods to check to teeth, mouth, gums, and jaws for signs of concern and keep track to the state of the patient's teeth. A dental exam usually includes digital X-rays, a visual inspection, a physical exam, gum probing, and any other checks that may be needed. By performing dental exams, the dentist can help patients take pro-active measures to reverse damage or catch problems like gum disease and oral cancer in its early stages to give the patient a wider range of treatments that may be less invasive and costly. Using state-of-the-art dental equipment, the dentist will help you get to and keep your best oral health.
What to Expect
A through dental examination will start with a conversation between the dentist and the patient. The dentist will ask about the patient's recent health, including any current medications, illnesses, and surgeries. The dentist will also ask the patient if they have noticed any changes or areas of concern. To get a complete picture of the patient's mouth, the dentist will begin by taking digital X-rays to see the teeth, gums, and bones. The dentist will then perform a visual check of the mouth and then continue the exam with palpation (touch) to check for signs of oral cancer, decay, and disease. The dentist will also use probing tools to check the health of the gums by measuring the depth of the gum pockets and looking for areas of inflammation.
If the dentist finds any areas of concern during the dental examination, they will talk to the patient about possible preventative measures that may be performed at the office or at home. The dentist will let the patient know when they should schedule their next dental exam to check on their progress. In some cases, the dentist may recommend further testing or refer the patient to a specialist.
The cost for an annual dental examination varies among practices, but it averages between $100 and $300. The front office will consult with the patient’s insurance companies prior to their visit, since most companies cover this cost up to 100%. Patients paying out of pocket may discuss payment options during their consultation.
Plan Your Procedure
Prevent and Protect
Be sure to schedule and attend your annual dental examination so you and your dentist can keep your teeth, gums, and jaw healthy. With regular dental exams, your dentist can notice subtle changes that can lead to faster, more effective treatments when problems do arise. A few minutes in the dentist's chair for an annual exam can save you hours of time and discomfort in extensive procedures and recovery time.