Dental Exams and Check-Ups

Why get a dental exam?

Dental exams performed routinely give our office the opportunity to evaluate your current condition of oral health, to provide guidance and assistance  with your personal dental care and offer advisement in regard to your dental treatment needs.   Dr. Clanton and his team are able to better help you maintain your oral health  and protect you from dental complications such as cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, infection and other dental problems when exams are performed on a regular basis.

How often should you get a dental exam?

Routine dental exams and teeth cleaning generally, should take place every six months.  However, Dr. Clanton and his team will help determine how often your exam/cleaning interval should be.  We may suggest you visit our office more frequently based on factors such as your current overall health status and medications being taken, smoking, frequency of cavities and susceptibility to decay and periodontal disease.

What can I expect from a dental exam?

At a typical dental exam appointment, Dr. Clanton and his hygienist work as a team to provide you with preventive care that helps decrease your risk of dental disease.  Routinely at these visits, our dental team will review your medical history, perform an oral cancer screening exam and update your dental chart information along with completing your prophylaxis and exam.

During the prophylaxis or “cleaning”, our hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth removing any deposits (plaque, calculus or tartar) and surface stains.  X-rays may also be taken to help provide more detailed information about your oral health and identify any potential dental problems.

Your oral health habits and frequency of brushing and flossing will be reviewed along with suggestions to help enhance your dental care.  Dr. Clanton and his team are always striving to help promote and maintain your optimal oral health!

Additionally, Dr. Clanton along with his hygienist, will perform an exam to evaluate the condition of each tooth.  Teeth are examined for cavities, weak spots, fractures and failing restorations.  Our goal is to recognize these problems early so that we can keep restorative procedures simple and prevent dental infection.  Lowering the risk of damage from decay and correcting problems early can help you avoid tooth loss and replacement.

Oral cancer screening is also provided routinely at each exam interval.  We will carefully evaluate the condition of soft tissue areas both inside and outside of the mouth by visual and tactile exam.  Any abnormalities or concerns can then be referred for biopsy/further evaluation and diagnosis.

How can you prepare for a dental exam?

The best way to prepare for a dental exam is practice good dental care daily.  Brushing your teeth at least twice a day along with flossing at least once daily is recommended.  Be sure to clean your teeth before you arrive for your exam/cleaning appointment if possible.  Of course our hygienist will be cleaning your teeth during your prophylaxis, but it is helpful to remove food and plaque beforehand allowing them to focus on more difficult-to-clean areas.  Also, you want to make sure you are prepared to share pertinent information such as your medical history, current health conditions, any current dental problems or concerns, and insurance coverage updates.  Dr. Clanton and his team are here to work with you in ensuring your good dental health and maintaining a beautiful smile!