Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care. During a dental exam, the dentist hygienist will clean your teeth and identify gum inflammation or bone loss. The dentist or hygienist will evaluate your risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health problems, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities. A dental exam will often include dental X-rays and sometimes other diagnostic procedures.
The dental hygienist may measure and record with a number depths between your teeth and gums. This is called periodontal charting.
The dentist or hygienist will likely discuss your oral hygiene habits and might demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion during a dental exam might include:
Any medications you're taking
- Use of tobacco products
- Consumption of sugar found in foods and beverages
- Consequences of tooth loss
- Benefits of restorations as fillings, crowns, fixed bridges or dental implants
- Use of dentures
- Cosmetic procedures
A dental exam also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about oral health.