Regular dental exams are the most effective way to identify early problems. In most cases, addressing a small problem now can prevent a large problem later.
The examination of your mouth begins with an oral cancer screening. Your dentist will examine your cheeks, lips, tongue, floor of mouth, roof of mouth, and gums for any abnormal findings. Then, a thorough examination of your teeth is done to detect dental problems including decay, periodontal disease, orthodontic concerns, and other pathology.
X-rays are required to detect many dental problems, including decay between teeth, infections around tooth roots, bone health, and developmental problems.
Some areas of early decay and cracks do not show up on an x-ray. The dental ‘probe’ or ‘explorer’ can be used by your dentist to gently feel the bumps and valleys on the surface of the tooth. If the dentist notices any ‘tackiness’ on the surface of the tooth, it might be a soft area which would indicate decay is present.
The sound judgement of a trained and experienced dental professional is the key to an effective dental exam, so contact the dentists at Brighton Healthy Smiles to set up a time for your next exam.