As a dentist in Gilbert, a question I get a lot is: “what happens during a dental exam?” This is fairly normal. After all, most patients have a bit of apprehension about visiting the dentist.
A Dental Exam Is Nothing to Be Scared Of
Let me stress that right up front. A dental exam is nothing to be scared of. When a patient is seen for his or her routine dental exam, these are some of the major points involved. First: The patient is asked to fill out a recent medical questionnaire. In most cases this is a verbal confirmation, where the patient is asked about recent health concerns, changes or new medications. Your mouth cannot be separated from your general health. A recent heart problem should be addressed, as there could be dental / general health ramifications.
For example, cardiac surgery may involve medication with antibiotics, as a thorough dental cleaning could cause oral bacteria to enter the circulatory system. This can cause potentially serious problems in areas where recent scar tissue has formed. As well joint surgery and artificial joint placement may require antibiotics.
Other recent conditions should be discussed as well during your dental exam: pregnancy, diabetes, cancer treatment, stoke, and any surgeries. Most conditions do not require special attention; but, the dental team will ensure that no consequences occur as a result of an oversight in recognizing potential problems.
Why Do I Have to Do Dental X-Rays?
X-rays are taken on a varying basis depending of the oral status of the patient. A patient with a full mouth of fillings is perhaps more vulnerable so may require more frequent x-rays., every year in some cases. Patients with minimal dental problems can do well with x-rays every two years.
Some patients require more than the standard ‘bite wings’. These are the x-rays that show if there are cavities between the back teeth. Patients who have had root canal therapy should receive what are called, ‘periapical’ x-rays, that monitor the progress of root canal treatment. Not all patients follow through; but, it is a worthwhile and challenging goal for the dental team to ensure they do. And all dental clinics like to ensure that patients return for regular exams. This ensures that any problems are noted and as importantly, it helps to ensure the patient is motivated to take a full role in his or her oral hygiene and home care.
It all starts with a visit to your dentist in Gilbert.
Gilbert Vista Dental Care
2451 East Baseline Road #210
Gilbert, AZ 85234