Dental exams are an important part of everyone’s dental routine. However, many people have no idea what happens during these procedures. In fact, a lot of the anxiety that happens in the dentist’s chair has been linked to not knowing what the dentist is doing – all you can hear is the whirr of instruments and this can lead to plenty of anxiety. This article will walk you through every step that happens when you go is for your scheduled dental exam.
• As soon as you walk into the dentist’s office the first person that you will meet will be the receptionist. He or she will welcome you and confirm your appointment and also inform the dentist that you have arrived. You will be asked to sit and make yourself comfortable as you wait for your dental hygienist.
• Your dental hygienist will come and fetch you. A dental hygienist is a trained professional who does a lot of the work in the dentist’s office. They take care of minor procedures such as dental exams, cleanings and they also play an important role in assisting the dentist. The hygienist will settle you down in the dental chair and chat with you about what you have come in for and what it will entail. They will also prepare you for the exam.
• Once you are properly prepped they will start the exam. The simplest way to describe a dental exam is this: it is a procedure that looks at all your teeth, your gums and your mouth to make sure that you have good oral health. They will check for the usual suspects – cavities, plaque, broken or chipped teeth, discolorations in the teeth, problems with the gums and so on. They will use specific equipment to carry out the procedure and they will not all their findings.
• If your mouth is in perfect health you will be given a clean bill and your appointment will be finished. If your teeth need cleaning the dental hygienist will proceed with the procedure. It doesn’t take very long – you will be done in about an hour.
• If, however, there are more serious issues, such as cavities the dental hygienist will take you through to the dentist who will talk to you about what the problem is and what should be done to resolve it. If, for example, you have a cavity the dentist will take X-Rays to determine where the cavity lies and how big it is, and then you will discuss whether you are due for a root canal. The dentist may proceed and work on the problem right there and then, but in many cases you will be given an appointment when you can come in and have the procedure.
What is the benefit of having dental exams?
The most important benefit of having a dental exam done on a regular basis is to detect problems early and solve them. When dental problems are detected early not only are they easier to deal with, they are also cheaper. A regular dental exam will ensure that nothing gets out of hand. One of the commonly asked questions when it comes to dental exams is whether someone who has perfect teeth should go for them. The answer is yes – it doesn’t matter if you think you have perfect oral health. You have no idea what is happening in your mouth because you don’t inspect your teeth. A dentist will do that and if indeed your teeth and gums are perfect you will be given a clean bill of health, but if there are problems they will be detected and dealt with in a timely fashion.
Another benefit of having regular dental exams is that it can help detect underlying health problems. Today, dentists are able to detect some chronic illnesses by examining your oral health. They can tell, for example, whether you are in the early stages of heart disease or diabetes. A diagnosis like this can be life saving because you are able to get interventions early enough.
What if you are nervous about getting dental exams?
Many people will keep putting off dental exams because the idea of going to the dentist doesn’t appeal to them at all. You should be worried or afraid – a dental exam is a painless procedure that doesn’t take very long. If you find that you are not able to calm yourself you can talk to your dentist about giving you something to still your nerves. Mild sedatives can be administered before the exam is started.
How can I choose the best dentist for a dental exam?
If you don’t have a regular dentist yet you may be wondering which one you should choose to do your regular exams. The most important thing is that the dentist be qualified – find out if they have had the right training and whether they keep current with industry developments. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask – a good dentist will be willing to tell his patients where he was trained and how much training he has had.
Choose a dentist who is available and reliable – you don’t want to be kept waiting when time comes for your exam. You should ensure that they operate out of a sanitary office and that they have a proper bedside manner – it helps to make you feel calm.