Routine dental exams are very important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends twice yearly checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage. Having an exam every 6 months will also help to avoid the financial costs associated with problems that may persist or worsen over time resulting in larger and more expensive problems later on.
How it’s done
The dentist first examines your mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high intensity lights. They will look for:
- Decayed teeth, cracked teeth, broken or missing fillings, oral lesions
- Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
- Medical history review: The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health.