If it has been a while since you visited a dentistry clinic for a complete dental exam, you might wonder what exactly the dentist will do during this visit. There is a list of different steps that dentists take during a complete dental exam, and here are the five main things you should expect.
They will clean your teeth
At most dental clinics, it is the hygienist who will do most of the steps, including cleaning your teeth. During this, he or she will scrape your teeth with a scaler and will brush, polish, and floss them too. Afterwards, the hygienist will offer a fluoride treatment for your teeth. The purpose of this cleaning is to remove all the plaque from your teeth.
They will take x-rays
The hygienist is also the person who typically takes x-rays of a person's teeth, and this is something most clinics do only once each year. The x-rays show the dentist a deeper view of your teeth, jawbones, and roots, and they can help dentists find problems with these areas of the mouth.
They will complete a gum measurement test
Once a year, the hygienist will typically complete a gum measurement test too. This test is designed to find out how deep the pockets are between your teeth and gums. The purpose of a gum measurement test is to diagnose gum disease, but it can also help uncover risks a person may have for developing gum disease.
They will complete an oral cancer screening
The dentist will usually complete the next step of the process, which is an oral cancer screening. This is a test that will help determine if you have oral cancer or risks of developing oral cancer. During the test, the dentist will examine your mouth and neck and will lift your tongue to look under it. He or she is looking for lesions, growths, and any abnormalities that may indicate cancer.
They will assess your risks
Finally, the dentist will assess your risks. The purpose of this is to determine if you need to make changes in your oral health routine and to let you know if you need any work done on your teeth.
When the hygienist and dentist are finished completing these steps, they will explain your risks and tell you if you need any additional work. If you do not need additional work, they will suggest coming back in six months for another exam.