Daily brushing and flossing are crucial for maintaining a healthy mouth. In addition to your home oral care, professional cleanings also help to prevent serious oral health issues from occurring. However, even with proper care, it is still possible for issues to develop. Moreover, many of these issues do not exhibit symptoms in the early stages. At Shenandoah Family Dentistry we perform dental exams to detect oral health issues and to help you get the treatment you need before the issues become worse.
What to Expect at a Dental Exam
During your dental exam, we inspect the structures inside of your mouth. We look over your teeth, checking for signs of decay, cavities, and damage such as chips and cracks. We look over your gums, checking for redness, swelling, gum recession, and other signs of gum disease. We look over the other oral tissues in your mouth, looking for unusual growths, changes in your tissues, and other abnormalities.
We may also take x-rays during your exam. These images enable us to examine the areas of the mouth that we cannot see with the naked eye, including the areas between your teeth, the roots of your teeth, and your jawbone.
After your exam is complete, we have a discussion with you regarding your oral care habits at home. We discuss your lifestyle habits, such as smoking or other tobacco use, and provide you with tips on how to improve your oral care. If we do find anything of concern in your mouth, we will also take the time to discuss what we found and go over your treatment options.
Providing Early Treatment
Early detection of oral health issues is crucial. By detecting problems earlier, we can provide treatment earlier. This prevents more serious issues from occurring later on. Additionally, it also means that the treatments we do need to provide will be less invasive than ones that would be needed if the issues were left to progress.
Upkeep of Previous Treatments
If you have previously had dental work done, such as fillings, crowns, or other restorations, these restorations are inspected during every exam. We check to make sure that the restorations are still in place, that they are not compromised in any way, and that no additional work is needed. Some dental restorations can wear down over time and need replacing. With your dental exams, we can determine the need for retreatment before any issues arise.
Oral Cancer Detection
As a part of your dental exams, we look over your oral tissues for signs of changes in the tissues, unusual growths, and other abnormalities. This is part of your oral cancer screening. Oral cancer, when not detected and treated early, can be deadly. Regular oral exams are crucial for detecting early warning signs that you might not notice at home, enabling you to get treatment right away.
Helping to Maintain Good Overall Health
Many people think that oral health issues only affect their mouths. The truth, however, is that many issues like gum disease and infections in your teeth can impact your whole-body health. These issues can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, respiratory issues, and more. Treating oral health issues in their early stages helps to protect the health of your whole body.
Saving You Money
When we can treat issues in their earliest stages, less invasive treatments are needed. This means that you avoid the need for more invasive, more expensive treatments later on, helping you to save money.
Regular dental exams enable us to detect issues in their earliest stages, which then enables you to get the treatment you need before the issue becomes worse. For more information, and to schedule your dental exam, call Shenandoah Family Dentistry today at (540) 667-8731.