What a General Dentist Exam Involves

What a General Dentist Exam Involves from South Florida Dental Arts in Miami, FLGood oral care is critical for overall well-being, and adults who routinely visit a general dentist are less likely to have problems with their teeth and health. Visiting a dentist twice per year can help detect and remediate the following conditions:

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer
  • Tooth misalignment
  • Systemic disease

Many people put off visiting a dentist due to fear of the unknown or pain, but in reality, a dental exam involves nothing to fear and is typically painless, as well as being invaluable for maintaining optimum health.

The elements of a routine exam

Visiting a general dentist is similar to seeing other practitioners in that specific protocols are followed. Most visits involve the following steps:

History

The first part of any general dental visit involves taking a thorough medical history. Documenting a patient's medications, illnesses, allergies, health changes, oral concerns, or pregnancy status, can help determine potential treatments.

Cleaning

A certified dental hygienist usually provides a thorough cleaning of the patient's teeth. Special tools allow the hygienist to scrape plaque and tartar from the surfaces and beneath the gum line. Some patients request a topical numbing agent for the gums to reduce sensations, but this is not necessary for most. Tooth polishing and flossing eliminate rough spots on the teeth and residual particles.

Images

A general dentist usually recommends X-rays of the entire mouth every few years, unless there is a history that warrants greater frequency. Low-radiation X-ray imagery is an essential diagnostic tool to examine the teeth roots, the jawbone, and the conditions below the gum line. It detects conditions that are not visible during a surface examination or do not yet cause a patient to experience noticeable symptoms.

Examination

After the dental hygienist cleans the patient's teeth, the dentist interprets the X-rays and examines the patient's mouth and neck for abnormalities and disease. During the exam, a dentist listens for clicking jaw joints and looks for bite misalignment, teeth that show wear, cavities and tooth sensitivity, and hard lumps associated with oral cancer.

Recommendations

A general dentist can help patients prevent various dental problems by making recommendations for brushing, flossing, and other home care measures. Some patients may require more frequent exams to thwart issues that the dentist predicts could cause tooth damage or loss. At times, a dentist may refer patients for advanced treatments for conditions resulting from genetics, illnesses, non-adherence to oral hygiene regimens, or medication side effects.

Why general dental exams are important

Routine dental visits help educate patients about good hygiene habits, manage and prevent oral disease, and address cosmetic concerns. In addition to preventing tooth loss and costly procedures, exams detect many systemic diseases and conditions of the body that initiate in the mouth before they are fully manifest. A dental exam can reveal evidence of lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, leukemia, anemia, various endocrine disorders, and other concerns, enabling patients to receive early treatments.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp:
General Dentist in Miami, FL

Conclusion

Everyone should regularly visit a general dentist for a simple, painless, and thorough examination. Home care regimens cannot substitute for the in-depth evaluation that occurs during a dental exam.

Request an appointment or call South Florida Dental Arts at 305-230-4041 for an appointment in our Miami office.

Recent Posts

What To Expect When Getting X-rays From A General Dentist

Many patients visiting a general dentist do not fully understand the use of dental X-rays. Patients may wonder if this type of imaging is completely necessary, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Dental X-ray exposure is safer than ever before, and when patients are knowledgeable about the procedure,…

A General Dentist Helps You Decide Whether To Pull Or Save A Tooth

Persistent oral pain or extensive decay may send a patient to a general dentist, who must then advise whether the patient should try to save the tooth or have it pulled. To save the tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary. This involves removing the infected pulp of the tooth and replacing it with…

Ask A General Dentist: Is There A Waiting Period After Fluoride

If a general dentist recommends fluoride treatments, patients may express concerns about the lasting effects of fluoride. They may also wonder whether eating and drinking are possible immediately afterward. Fortunately, fluoride is one of the easiest dental treatments to undergo with little to no waiting period and great benefits in the long term. Just a…

Recent Posts

How Dental Implants Compare To Natural Teeth

How Dental Implants Compare To Natural Teeth

Dentists have been using dental implants for decades. Many of these dental professionals consider these restorations the gold standard in tooth replacements. Getting implants may be the most rewarding procedure you could ever get. But some people wonder what implants have that natural teeth do not. If you want to know how dental implants compare…

What To Expect When Getting X Rays From A General Dentist

What To Expect When Getting X-rays From A General Dentist

Many patients visiting a general dentist do not fully understand the use of dental X-rays. Patients may wonder if this type of imaging is completely necessary, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Dental X-ray exposure is safer than ever before, and when patients are knowledgeable about the procedure,…