Dental Exams

Dentist Herndon

Some patients have feelings of anxiety surrounding visits to the dentist. Many people experience this before their first dental exam. The fact that they don’t know what to expect can get their imaginations going and make them nervous about their visit. Here is some information about what goes into a dental exam so that you know what to expect every step of the way.

What are dental exams?

One way to think of a dental exam is as a routine checkup. Exams are normally scheduled about every six months for those with no serious dental problems. They are for those who need preventive dental care.

A dental examination gives your dental team time to look for any signs of oral disease, or other types of problems, so that you can receive recommendations about any needed treatments.

During your dental exam, your dental team will be looking at all of the inside surfaces of your mouth, including:

  • Your gums
  • Your tongue
  • The roof of your mouth
  • Your teeth and surrounding tissues

The goal of a dental exam is learning the current condition of these parts of your body. Each exam creates a baseline, or marker, that can be compared with subsequent visits, allowing your dental team an opportunity to see if anything has changed between appointments.

What To Expect

You may be asked about your medical history and any problems that you are experiencing before your examination begins. Typically, a dental hygienist would conduct the first part of a dental exam. You’ll be asked to open your mouth so that they can take a look. They may use specialized dental tools like mirrors and probes to check for problems.

These instruments should not cause you to experience any pain. If there is any risk of pain being involved, your dentist can numb the area before the exam so that you are entirely comfortable.

Normally, a dental exam precedes a dental cleaning. Once your exam is complete, your dentist may be called in to take a closer look if any troubling signs were detected. They may order x-rays or other diagnostic tests to more closely examine any problem signs. If anything was detected that was a cause for concern, your dentist may recommend that you undergo a dental treatment to correct the problem and prevent it from becoming more serious.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is a serious disease that has excellent outcomes when it is detected early, such as during a routine dental exam. So your dental team will be checking your mouth and tongue to look for any signs of lumps or any other abnormalities.

Schedule Your Dental Exam

Patients are normally advised to undergo a routine dental exam every six months. If you’ve been putting off your next dental exam appointment, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule your next visit. We happily accept new patients.