For optimal oral and dental health maintenance, you must visit your dentist twice a year for a comprehensive dental checkup. What many don't realize is that our oral health is linked with our overall body's health. Getting a comprehensive dental exam twice-yearly can help you identify issues with your oral and body health.
What is a Comprehensive Dental Exam?
The term 'comprehensive' represents an extensive dental exam, meaning the dentist will check for issues in your teeth and gums, the roof of the mouth, back of the throat, tongue, back of the head, and the neck.
The exam starts with a detailed consultation, where your dentist and your dental hygienist will examine your oral structure.
The dentist will check for common dental conditions, including TMJ disorders, dental cavities, oral cancer, teeth stain cleaning, bite evaluation, or periodontal diseases. Your dental hygienist may record symptoms associated with these diseases if found during the examination. However, they are not allowed to diagnose diseases.
The next step is a professional dental cleaning. During the cleaning, the dental hygienist will remove any and all tartar or plaque build-up, polish the teeth and even administer teeth whitening treatments if needed.
A diagnostic exam may not be necessary for everyone. Your dentist will decide whether you need to get digital X-rays or not during the initial consultation.
Your dentist will also examine your head and necks for swollen salivary glands and lymph nodes. Any swelling and tenderness in said areas signify an infection or a disease.
They will also examine for soft tissue issues in the gums, the tongue, the cheek, and the roof of the mouth.
Many deem a comprehensive dental exam twice-yearly to be unnecessary. However, it is essential for the maintenance of your oral and overall body health. A regular checkup can help catch early signs and symptoms of major diseases such as oral cancer, increasing the chances of administering effective treatment.
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