Dental health is integral to your overall health, and routine dental exams are just as important as a yearly physical for maintaining a healthy body. But for many people, choosing a dentist and going in for that initial exam can be stressful.
That doesn’t have to be the case. When you go in knowing what to expect, your dental exams can be much more relaxed and worry free. Whether you are seeking restorative dentistry procedures or a routine check-up exam, many dental exams involve the same diagnostic tests and processes.
Basic Points of a Dental Exam
During any dental exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will likely start by doing the following:
- Check for cavities or other signs of tooth decay
- Check for gum tenderness or other signs of periodontitis (gum disease)
- Check for jaw misalignment or bite issues
- Check the fit and integrity of any existing dental bridges, crowns, or other dental prostheses
Once your dentist has assessed your overall dental health, he or she may take a set of x-rays. From there, the dentist or hygienist will likely perform a routine dental cleaning and polishing.
An X-Ray Exam
As part of your initial exam, your dentist will probably want to take x-rays of your mouth. These x-rays give your dentist visual access to areas of your teeth that are not easily viewable with the naked eye, allowing the dentist to spot hidden pockets of decay or other trouble areas like impacted wisdom teeth that might have otherwise gone unnoticed for a much longer amount of time.
At the office of Jason Downey, DDS, we are proud to offer our patients digital x-rays. Using an electronic sensor, this state-of-the-art technology uses 90 percent less radiation than traditional x-rays while delivering a clearer image in less time for a better diagnosis and more effective treatment.
What to Discuss with Your Dentist
Even if you are just visiting your dentist for an initial checkup or a routine cleaning, it is the perfect time to bring up any concerns you might have. Depending on your concerns or experience, some good topics to bring up might be:
- Hygiene Questions: If you are not sure that you are brushing or flossing properly, now is the time to ask. Your dentist or dental assistant will be happy to demonstrate proper techniques in the office for you to follow at home.
- Dental Health Concerns: While your dentist will be looking for problems, don’t hesitate to speak up if you have already noticed discoloration or are experiencing any pain in your teeth or gums. This can only help your dentist make an accurate diagnosis.
- Your Anxiety About Dental Visits: If you are feeling distressed or anxious about visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Many people experience anxiety over dental visits, from children to adults. Discuss this with your dentist before or at the start of your appointment. Your dental office may offer sedation dentistry techniques to help you relax, or else can take extra care to make sure you feel at ease throughout your visit.
Schedule Your Next Dental Exam with Your Las Vegas Dental Team Today
Don’t let anxiety get in the way of the treatment that you need. With a caring team and the right preparation, a dental exam doesn’t have to be an anxiety-inducing experience. Jason L. Downey, DDS, and his team are dedicated to providing excellent preventative and restorative dentistry care in a warm and comforting environment. Contact our Las Vegas dental office to schedule your next dental exam today.