A regular dental examination will detect any problem at an early stage. Treatments will be offered to solve the problems before they become more serious. The dental examination is part of a preventive approach; it is therefore a great way to avoid expensive treatments.
What happens during a dental exam?
During the examination, your dentist will observe the inside of your mouth. Will assess your teeth, gums and soft tissues. Will also check your tongue, the inside of your cheeks and your palate. The exam might also include dental x-rays, photos, digital impressions. The information provided by the medical history and lifestyle questionnaire you filled in will also be taken into account.
Here are examples of problems that can be detected by the dentist during this appointment:
- Tooth decay;
- Cracked or chipped tooth;
- Inflammation or other signs of gum disease;
- Crown or filling in poor condition;
- Signs of bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching);
- Occlusal problems (bite problems);
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (the joint that connects your jaw to your skull);
- Bone loss;
- Impacted wisdom teeth.
How often should I see the dentist?
Even if you keep a good dental hygiene, it is very important to go to the dentist on a regular basis for a check-up.
According to the « Ordre des dentistes du Québec », it is recommended to undergo a dental exam every 6 months. This frequency will be adjusted depending on your general health status and your dental condition as well as your dental hygiene habits.
What should your dentist know?
Since your last check-up, you may have noticed some changes on your teeth, gums or your overall health. Feel free to mention these details to your dentist, even if they do not appear in connection with your teeth.
Here are some examples of information that is important to point out to your dentist:
- Changes in your mouth since the last visit:
- Tooth discoloration;
- Teeth that have changed position;
- Sensitivity to cold, warm and sweet drinks or food;
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or floss;
- A mouth sore that does not heal;
- Discoloration of oral soft tissues;
- Tension in the jaw or neck muscles.
- Changes in your lifestyle or your overall health:
- Taking new medication;
- Disease (any new disease diagnosed since the last dental exam);
- Tobacco smoking;