What Happens at an Oral Exam at Your Dentist Office?

oral exam Los Gatos, CA

Has it been some time since you visited the dentist’s office for an oral exam? If so, you may be wondering what the process entails. The following will help you prepare for your visit and alleviate any anxiety you may be feeling.

The oral exam process

While all dentists differ in some ways, most will follow the same steps during an oral exam. This helps to identify any concerns and ensure the health of your teeth. Here is what happens during an oral exam with your dentist.

Medical history

Before the exam, you will be asked for a complete dental and medical history. All medications need to be disclosed as well as any chronic diseases that could affect oral health. This information will allow the dentist to focus on the areas that the chronic condition can affect. It will enable the dental team to create a better oral health care plan for you. If you are visiting a dentist you have already been to, you will likely be asked if the information you provided at the last visit is still correct or if anything has changed.

Initial exam

The dentist, or sometimes a dental hygienist, will do a brief exam to identify any problems before continuing. This is an opportunity for you to point out any pain or issues before heading into the cleaning.

X-rays

X-rays will be taken of the teeth to identify any issues and to create a baseline for future treatments. The dentist can refer to these X-rays when examining changes in the teeth and gums at following visits. X-rays help identify bone loss, abnormalities, tooth decay, gum disease, tumors and cysts.

Cleaning

If there are no immediate problems that would hinder a cleaning, the dentist or a dental hygienist will clean the teeth, gum and mouth. This prepares it for the oral exam by removing anything that can harm the teeth or obstruct the dentist’s view.

Plaque and tartar are scraped from the teeth and gum line with a scaler. Once the plaque and tartar are removed, the hygienist will polish the teeth. A gritty toothpaste and electric toothbrush are used to leave the teeth shiny and smooth. The next step is flossing followed by a fluoride treatment. The fluoride treatment is typically applied as a gel and rinsed out with water.

Final inspection

Finally, the dentist will examine the teeth for gum disease, problems with alignment, signs of grinding or other potential issues. During the final oral exam, dental work such as bridges and fillings are inspected. The dentist will check areas of the mouth and throat for signs of oral cancer.

Continue to maintain your healthy smile by following the dentist’s instructions. Brush and floss daily and avoid foods and drinks that will stain your teeth.

Are you ready for your oral exam?

It is normal to experience anxiety and discomfort when visiting the dentist for the first time or after a long gap in care. Do not let this fear stop you from taking proper care of your health. You now know what to expect and can mentally prepare yourself for the visit.

To schedule your oral exam, call our office to choose a suitable time. We are happy to explain our process to help reduce your concerns.

Are you considering an oral exam in the Los Gatos area? Get more information at https://www.scmountaindental.com.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Preventive Dentistry - What Stains Teeth The Most?

A preventative dentistry question people commonly have is, "what stains teeth the most?" We will look at some of the foods and beverages that are teeth staining to help you avoid these and keep a white smile longer. There are lots of different foods that can stain teeth. Some are well known and obvious. Blueberries, for…

4 Daily Tips For Managing Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a condition that no one wants to have. Despite brushing and flossing every day, bad breath happens to everyone at times. Luckily, there are several ways you can improve your halitosis. If simple methods do not work, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to find out if it…

Visiting A General Dentistry Office For Regular Visits: What To Expect

General dentistry visits are essential when looking to maintain good oral health. While at-home oral hygiene is an effective way to keep the gums and teeth in good shape, it alone is not enough. Seeing a general dentist at least twice a year for a check-up combined with at-home oral hygiene is the best way…

General Dentistry: The Importance Of Yearly Checkups

General dentistry is defined as the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity. Additionally, the maxillofacial area and adjacent and associated structures are treated by a general dentist.  General of dentistry involves using a general dentist, which is a dental patient's first point of contact when they are experiencing…

Recent Posts

Why A Smile Makeover Is A Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedure

Why A Smile Makeover Is A Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedure

A smile makeover refers to a procedure or multiple procedures that are done to improve the aesthetic and appearance of the teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentists perform smile makeovers on individuals who have a wide range of problems, from issues such as crooked teeth to simpler things like enamel stains. Regardless of the severity of…

What Is The Difference Between Composite And Porcelain Veneers?

What Is The Difference Between Composite And Porcelain Veneers?

Veneers are often recommended for patients who have cracked, chipped, or stained teeth. These shells cover minor dental imperfections and give patients brighter, straighter smiles in minimal time. As an added bonus, there is often no discomfort when being fitted. Patients should understand the differences between composite and porcelain materials to have a knowledgeable discussion…