How Your Family Dental Provider Conducts a Dental Exam
Your strict dental hygiene routine is important, but you still need to visit your dentist twice a year for an oral exam. Early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth-grinding problems can be detected through a routine family dental exam long before you notice any symptoms or physical changes. Your dentist may also be the first to discover early signs of oral cancer or conditions that suggest a systemic health problem. If you have been diagnosed with certain diseases or you have chronic dental problems, your dentist may want you to schedule exams more frequently.
First Step: Professional Teeth Cleaning
General dentistry professionals called dental hygienists usually clean your teeth prior to your dentist examining them. Metal instruments called scalers and ultrasonic vibrating devices are employed to remove plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces and below the gum line. Once cleaning is complete, your teeth are polished with an abrasive paste.
Next Step: The Visual Exam
One of the most vital diagnostic tasks in general dentistry is the visual exam. During the exam, your dentist will look at every tooth surface for signs of decay and excess wear. He or she will also probe your gum tissues to look for swelling, redness, and other signs of periodontal disease. After checking your teeth and gums, your dentist will examine the other soft tissues inside your mouth for unusual lesions that could be a sign of oral cancer. During a comprehensive or new patient exam, your dentist may also check your head, jaw, neck, and throat for signs of disease or dysfunction.
Fear and Your Gag Reflex: What if You Find Dentists Scary?
If you find dentists to be intimidating, you’re more likely to experience extreme anxiety or panic during an appointment. Advanced anesthesia options and new treatment techniques are available to help fearful patients, so don’t be afraid to discuss alternatives and options with your dentist. Your gag reflex may also prove to be a problem for you and your family dental provider. Involuntarily retching if your dentist accidentally touches the back of your throat or positions X-ray films is uncomfortable and embarrassing. Some patients with sensitive gag reflexes actually find dentists to be a great resource for help. Your general dentistry professional can often recommend therapies to reduce the problem such as acupuncture, hypnosis, and guided relaxation. If you are concerned about your gag reflex, discuss the problem with your dental provider before your next exam.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Sarasota, call Advanced Dental Care of Sarasota today at (941) 306-1818 or make an appointment.
Advanced Dental Care offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Sarasota. With 20 affiliated practices throughout Florida, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Advanced Dental Care of Sarasota, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Advanced Dental Care of Sarasota.