The American Dental Association recommends that everyone over one year of age visit the dentist twice per year for comprehensive dental exams, commonly called a checkup. At our Queen Creek, AZ dental office, these seemingly simple visits actually involve a series of important evaluations that allow the dentist to detect potential or developing oral health problems in their earliest stages, when effective treatment is usually conservative and inexpensive. Allowing small issues, like cracked or infected teeth, to escalate can lead to pain, expense, and time off work. So please, if you’ve not seen the dentist in the past six months, call Value Dental Center Queen Creek to reserve your exam today.
Evaluating Your Teeth and Gums
The dentist will first examine all of your teeth, including existing dental work, for signs of fracture, decay, infection, or damage. His assistant will chart his findings. You may also undergo a series of x-rays, which will allow us to look at the structures in your mouth that aren’t visible to the naked eye. This includes in and between teeth, teeth roots, and your jawbone. Infection can occur in any of these areas. If you have noticed any pain, sensitivity, or abnormalities in your oral tissues, please bring them to the dentist’s attention, so we may evaluate and address your concerns.
In addition to evaluating the hard tissues of your mouth, the dentist will look at your soft tissues: your gums, tongue, cheeks, lips, and the hard and soft palates. Gum disease is a common concern for over half of the population, and oral cancer is diagnosed in approximately 50-thousand patients per year, in America. These stealthy diseases are serious, though finding and treating them early results in a good recovery rate.
Jaw, Head, and Neck Exam
Another assessment that occurs during a checkup is the jaw, head, and neck exam. The doctor follows a protocol set by the American Dental Association for a comprehensive evaluation to detect suspicious lesions that could indicate tumors. The assessment also involves manual manipulation of the TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, which hold the lower jaw to the skull and allow for movement of the mouth. In some patients, the TMJs are not properly seated, resulting in pain and irritation associated with TMJ disorder.
Your dental exam will include a discussion about a few additional points that you may not have previously discussed with a dentist. For instance, the dentist will want to know if you are a chronic snorer, have episodes of abrupt awakening during the night, or have been told by your sleeping partner that you grind your teeth. These issues may be related to conditions easily treated with an oral appliance, provided by the dentist. If you or your children participate in sports, ask us about a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth during the game.
Call Now to Schedule Your Dental Exam
Though we’re always available for emergency dentistry, the best medicine is preventive. Your bi-annual dental exams and cleanings will help you maintain good oral health, which contributes to good overall health and high quality of life. Call Value Dental Center Queen Creek today to reserve your checkup with one of our respected dentists. We look forward to seeing your smile!