Dental Exams

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What is a Dental Exam?

A critical part of preventive health care is regular dental exams, also called dental checkups or oral exams. The National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) is responsible for establishing and maintaining a national standard of competence for dentists in Canada. Generally, a dental hygienist or a dentist cleans your teeth during a dental exam and checks for gum disease and cavities. In detail, dental exams include checking your face, neck, and mouth for abnormalities and evaluating your risk of developing other oral problems. Also, dental exams might have other diagnostic procedures such as dental X-rays (radiographs).

Your dentist will likely discuss your oral care and hygiene habits, and diet and might demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Moreover, other topics might include lifestyle factors affecting oral health and possible cosmetic improvements to your teeth. Without a doubt, your overall health, including your oral health, is protected by regular dental check-ups. For instance, symptoms and signs of some systemic diseases, such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, might first appear in the mouth. Subsequently, if your dentist or dental hygienist finds disease indications, s/he will suggest you see your doctor.

Also, these exams give your dentist a chance to provide tips on caring for your teeth and to detect oral health problems early —when they are most treatable.

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How Long Does A Dental Exam Take?

Exams and cleanings at the dentist usually take at most an hour. But check-ups and cleanings for kids are often shorter. The length of visits may also depend on how often routine dental exams and cleanings are done, how healthy the mouth is, and how old the patient is. As part of your exam, your dentist will also talk to you about how to brush and floss your teeth to ensure you take the best care of them.

How Often Should I Get Dental Exams?

Most adults and kids should go to the dentist every six months, but you may need a different plan to protect your oral health because dental problems can get worse and hurt a lot if they aren’t taken care of right away. Also, if you have ongoing problems with your oral health, your dentist or dental hygienist may suggest that you go to the dentist more often. For example, people who go to the dentist every three to four months to have their teeth cleaned tend to respond better to dental care than those with a gum disease history.

Book An Appointment

New patients, walk-ins, and referrals are always welcome. We do our best to accommodate dental emergencies on the same day.

What happens during dental exams?

Typical dental exams include a cleaning by a dental hygienist or dentist, X-rays on certain visits, and a checkup of your mouth.

Cleanings

  • Firstly, you sit in a chair. Then a bright overhead light shines above. Afterward, a dentist or a dental hygienist cleans your teeth using small metal dental tools. S/he scrapes your teeth to remove tartar and plaque.
  • The dental hygienist or dentist flosses your teeth.
  • S/he brushes your teeth using a special electric toothbrush.
  • S/he may then apply a fluoride gel or foam to your teeth to prevent tooth infection or decay and cavities. Children need more fluoride treatments than adults.
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Professional Dental Exam

X-Rays

To explain, dental x-rays are images that show bone loss, gum disease, cavities, and other problems that cannot be seen by looking at the mouth. During x-rays, the dental hygienist or dentist

  • Places a thick covering (a lead apron) over your chest. Following this, s/he may place an additional covering on your neck to protect your thyroid gland. Summing up, they protect your body from radiation.
  • Has you bite a small piece of plastic.
  • Places a scanner outside your mouth. Then, s/he takes a picture while standing behind a protective shield or another area.
  • Instructs biting in different areas of your mouth for certain types of x-rays.

There are different types of dental x-rays. A full-mouth X-ray is needed once every few years to check your overall oral health. However, a bitewing x-ray may be used more often to check for cavities or other tooth problems in dental exams.

Checkups

During a dental exam, the dentist:

  • Checks your x-rays for problems such as cavities.
  • Looks at your gums and teeth to make sure they are healthy.
  • Checks the bite (the way the bottom and top teeth fit together). In addition, you may be referred to an orthodontist if there is a bite problem.
  • Checks for oral cancer by feeling under your jaw, checking the sides of your tongue, the insides of your lips, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
Easy Dental Exam

Dental Land recommends that you don’t skip dental exams because things that seem “fine” can lead to much more expensive care in the future. This is especially true for children whose enamel is thinner and can decay quickly. But, on the other hand, if everything is fine, we’d like to help you keep it that way.

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