Dental Exams are a vital part of your visit to the dentist. Whether it is your first visit to our office or you have been seeing us for several years, we always thoroughly evaluate the condition of your teeth and mouth. During your dental exam, we evaluate a number of areas and utilize a number of tools to ensure your oral health is at its best.
Dental x-rays: X-rays allow us to see between the teeth, under fillings, determine the level of the bone that supports the teeth, check for infection, evaluate anatomic structures and a number of other areas. Some patients who are especially cavity prone, have periodontal disease or have a large number of restorations in their mouth may need x-rays updated every six months. For those who are low-risk for cavities and have an otherwise health mouth, x-rays may need to be updated every six months. Visit our dental x-ray page to learn more.
Periodontal Evaluation: The dentist or hygienist uses the x-rays to check the bone support and uses an instrument called a periodontal probe to measure how tight or loose the gums are around the teeth. They also look for signs such as bleeding, plaque and tartar and inflammation to determine if periodontal disease is present. Changes in your home care may be recommended and addressed if there are areas that need to be improved upon when you clean your teeth. Visit our page on gum disease to learn more.
Oral Cancer Screening: Your risk factors for developing oral cancer will be reviewed including tobacco use, age, gender, presence of HPV and alcohol use. Even if your risk is low for developing oral cancer, your mouth and neck will still be evaluated since a number of cases every year develop in patients with no risk factors. Dr. Gretzula and your hygienist will look at your cheeks, tongue, gums, throat, floor of your mouth and neck to determine if any abnormalities are present. Additionally, the use of the VELscope ® light is recommended for each patient. The use of the VELscope® light can aid in early detection of pre-cancer or abnormal lesions. Please visit our oral cancer and VELscope® page to learn more about our oral cancer screening.
Restorative Examination: the doctor will evaluate the integrity of any existing restoration such as crowns, implants or fillings that may be present in your mouth. She will feel and listen to your TMJ and check your teeth for cracks or wear that may be due to clenching or grinding your teeth. Lastly, the doctor will check your teeth for any new cavities. An esthetic consultation may be included if there are areas of your smile you wish to improve upon. For a comprehensive list of procedures we offer, please see our cosmetic dental services page.
Based on the findings from your exam, Dr. Gretzula will discuss her recommendations and your options for treatment. A treatment plan will be created that is best suited to meet your expectations, needs and budget. Our treatment coordinators will go over with you any insurance coverage questions your may have, set up a financing plan if necessary and schedule your next visit.