Dental Exams

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 65% of adults visited their dentist in the year before the pandemic began. While it is good that they visited, it also means that around 35% missed out.

What are dental exams?

Dental exams are a vital part of preventive dental care, typically taking place twice annually. Some patients with ongoing dental problems receive more frequent dental exams. Whatever the frequency, dental exams give your dental team a chance to inspect your teeth, mouth, and gums for signs of trouble. If anything is spotted, it can be addressed at an early point when intervention is typically the most successful. 

Who needs a dental exam?

Everyone needs a dental exam. Although you may not currently have any problems with your teeth, mouth, and gums, the idea behind a dental exam is to check for early signs of trouble so that they can be addressed when the problem is still small.

Most dentists recommend that heir patients undergo a dental exam twice a year. If you have an ongoing issue, they may recommend that you visit more frequently, such as if you have gum disease.


What takes place at a dental exam?

Although the specifics of an individual patient’s dental exam may vary, there are some common elements that make up a typical dental exam:

Medical History

If you’re a new patient, your dentist will want to become familiar with your general health history. If you are a returning patient, you’ll be asked about any recent events and any new medications that you may be taking.

Oral Health Assessment

Your dentist will be evaluating your general oral health and the state of your oral hygiene. They will examine the current condition of your teeth and gums and assess your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease. They’ll also be looking within your mouth for any signs of oral cancer.

Evaluation of Bite

Your dentist will be checking your bite to detect any symptoms of wear or misalignment. They’ll also be looking for any problems with your jaw and indications that a tooth may need replacing or restoring. If you have current prosthetics or restorations, they’ll also ensure that everything is in good repair.


Some visits may involve x-rays. These images help your dentist visualize what is going on beneath the surface of your teeth and gums, which may be undetectable to the naked eye.

Fluoride Assessment

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found within teeth. It strengthens them by rebuilding tooth enamel. Fluoride is a common ingredient found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. If your teeth need additional fluoride, your dentist can provide a fluoride treatment.


Once your dental exam is complete, your dentist will discuss any findings. They will let you know the current health of your teeth and gums, and if any potential problems are lurking. They may provide you with information on how to prevent or treat any concerning developments. They may also let you know how effective your oral care routine is and if any changes should be made.

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