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What to Expect from Your Oral Exam

Last updated 6 years ago

Regular oral exams are crucial to a person’s dental and overall health. A dentist or dental hygienist will check for cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and any oral abnormalities during this type of exam. An oral cancer screening may also be recommended.

Before you see your dentist, a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth. This part of the exam includes removing plaque and tartar, polishing the teeth, and flossing the teeth. The hygienist may also check the gums for signs of disease or inflammation and ask you to rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. You may also receive recommendations for at-home cleaning.

Visual Examination
During your dental exam, a dentist or oral hygienist will inspect each tooth in your mouth. He or she will check for softness or visible cavities on the surface of the teeth. Tools such as a metal pick and mirrors are often used to get a good view of each tooth.

X-rays are occasionally taken to show the inside structure of your tooth. There are several types of X-rays that render various images. A bitewing can show a view of the molars on the top and bottom. An occlusal X-ray can show the dentist how well your bite fits together.  Sometimes, a dentist will take a panoramic X-ray of the entire mouth to see all the teeth at once. Pregnant women should avoid dental X-rays until they approve the procedure with their doctors.

Oral Cancer Screening
Screening for oral cancer is an important part of a dental exam. Your dentist will look into your mouth to search for any abnormalities of your jaw, tongue, and cheeks, including lumps, sores, and red or white patches of tissue. Early detection of oral cancer usually improves prognosis.

Dr. Kenn Kakosian D.D.S., P.C. can help you keep your teeth healthy and looking their best. Our Manhattan office specializes in dental implants, Invisalign, porcelain veneers, and Zoom! teeth whitening. Call (212) 661-0949 to schedule your appointment today.


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All content and information are of an unofficial nature and are not intended to be interpreted as dental advice.
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