Comprehensive Exams (including Oral Cancer Screenings)

Regular annual dental exams are very important for maintaining good oral health. In this exam, your dentist will assess the inside of your mouth and any factors that might affect your oral-and in turn your overall health. During a dental exam, your dentist will look for the following.

  • Damaged, missing or decayed teeth
  • Early signs of dental cavities
  • The health of your gums
  • Any previous dental work such as root canals, fillings and crowns and how are they holding up
  • Screening for mouth and throat cancer
  • Teeth positioning (e.g., spacing, crowding and bite)
  • Signs for parafunctional habits like bruxism or clenching your teeth
  • Signs of bleeding or inflammation on your tongue, on the roof or floor of your mouth
  • The general condition of the bones of your face, jaw and around your mouth

These dental exams are very important in catching problems early, which gives a better prognosis and diagnosis.

Along with the visual inspection of your mouth, the exam includes a complete medical history that informs the dentist about any health conditions that might affect the success of dental treatments or procedures that may be associated with oral health conditions.

It may also include:

  • An examination of your head and neck area. The dentist will feel the glands and lymph nodes for possible signs of inflammation that could indicate general health problems.
  • Dental x-rays, if necessary. They will detect problems such as cavities under existing fillings, fractures, impacted wisdom teeth, decay under your gum line and bone loss caused by gum disease.

As a patient, you can ask your dentist to explain what's happening during the exam and to give you a summary of the findings.


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