Periodic dental examinations are a critical part of preventive oral health care. At Simi Hills Dental, we do not just clean your teeth, we also check for signs and symptoms of diseases, including autoimmune disorders and cancers. That's because certain systemic diseases in their initial stages, like diabetes and leukemia, will manifest signs within the mouth first. If we catch these symptoms early on, you have a greater chance of successful treatment.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam
At Simi Hills Dental, Dr. Stout will perform various steps for a successful dental exam. These include:
Examining Your Teeth and Gums
During the visual exam, we will look for signs of tooth decay or gum disease. We will also use a dental probe to measure the depth of gum pockets between your teeth and the gums, and an explorer to determine if any cavities are present in your teeth.
If your teeth are in relatively good oral health, we will only use a basic dental cleaning procedure to get them rid of any tartar buildup. We will use an ultrasonic device and a scaler to remove plaque, and then polish your teeth to remove stains and make them shiny.
If your mouth shows signs of periodontal disease, we will need to perform a deep cleaning, which will involve procedures called scaling and root planing.
It is a good idea to bring your medical and dental records during your six-monthly dental examination. This will help us know whether you have been diagnosed with any disease so that we can give you a painless and comfortable dental exam experience. For example, diabetes can make gums more sensitive, so people with the disease would require a different treatment method. You should also bring a list of all the medications you are taking since certain medications can increase your chances of dental caries or other oral issues. It also helps us prescribe you anesthesia or medication that does not negatively react with the drugs you are already taking.
We will also ask you if you perceived any changes in your mouth, inform you about any potential hygiene issues and show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth.
Dental x-rays can help spot problem areas that may not be easily visible from the naked eye. Some examples include fracture under the gumline, decay between teeth or around an old filling or crown. These x-rays produce low levels of radiation so they are typically not a cause for concern.
Oral Cancer Exam
During a comprehensive dental exam, we will also check for signs of oral cancer. We will touch and feel the areas under your jaw, the sides of your neck, the insides of your lip and cheek, the palate, the tongue, and the floor of the mouth for any signs of discomfort or unusual bumps and lesions.
To some, dental exams may be a daunting experience; however, don't let your fear keep you from meeting your appointment as it is extremely important for your overall wellbeing. To schedule an appointment, call us at (805) 317-4999.