Regular Dental Exams
Oral and dental health play a major role in overall healthcare, as well as personal wellness. Self-esteem and confidence can also be greatly affected by dissatisfactory dental hygiene and poor oral health. A brief overview of the assessment completed during a dental exam is provided below. Your medical history can also influence the exam. We recommend complete dental exams to be completed at regular intervals, and our staff is here to help. For further information, please reach out to us at Singing River Dentistry.
The Health Interview
While your own teeth and mouth can be seen in a mirror, they cannot be observed or assessed with the same education and skill of one of our dental professionals. Following a cleaning by one of our dental hygienists, you will be assessed by one of our team members. At the start of our time together, we encourage you to share with us your health history, including medications, chronic conditions, allergies and any concerns you bring with you. The information you provide during this interview is important. It helps to ensure that we have a complete picture of your medical and dental history, allowing us to provide you with the best care possible. We strive to be thorough and thoughtful during this time together.
Following a routine history collection, the next step is the physical exam. We evaluate several things during the physical dental exam, including teeth, gums, salivary glands, the tongue, and bone structure of the face and jaw. Teeth are first and foremost evaluated for condition and then assessed for any prior dental procedures. In doing so, we hope to be consistent and aware of any earlier concerns and treatments, as they can worsen over time and overlap into current health.
Damaged, decayed, or even missing teeth can affect your overall health, including your cardiac health. A dental exam will also typically include an assessment of the spacing of your teeth, and any positioning concerns that could cause pain or an ineffective bite. The mouth and teeth are also examined for any signs of grinding or clenching, as this is a condition with long term repercussions, including headaches and hearing loss. Assessed in tandem with the teeth are the gums. We observe the gums for any redness or swelling, as well as any symptoms of gum disease. The condition of facial and mandibular bones are observed and investigated for pain or breakdown. The tongue and salivary glands are assessed for non-reassuring growths, cysts, or discoloration.
If tooth damage or decay is too significant we may need to cover the tooth with a dental crown or recommend a dental implant.
Completion of the Exam
Once the exam is complete and the assessment is over, we will work together to create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. We will take into consideration exam findings, and diagnostic exams that were completed, to fully alleviate your concerns, and any underlying dental health concerns that were discovered and diagnosed. While further treatments may require a secondary appointment, it is imperative that the directions we provide you with are followed closely. This will help you to prevent further problems, and mitigate current concerns. Regardless of any treatment plan, a follow up appointment should be scheduled for six months from the dental exam.
If you are concerned about your oral health, or simply believe it is time to have a professional evaluation of your dental hygiene it would be pertinent to make an appointment with one of our skilled doctors of dentistry here at Singing River Dentistry, we can be reached at 256-712-3549 and look forward to working with you!