Did you ever wonder what a dentist looks for while doing exams? At East Market Family Dental, Drs. Adam and Christina Highberger complete thorough exams on every patient, typically following your teeth cleaning. Each part of your checkup is described below, followed by questions we hear frequently from our patient.
During the beginning of the exam, the hygienist or assistant will ask you for permission to take dental x-rays. New technology in dentistry has enabled dental professionals to obtain x-rays with far less radiation exposure than with traditional dental x-rays. These x-rays are essential in the early detection of cavities, abscesses, bone loss, growths in the sinuses or jaw joint, among many other things.
Head and Neck
Next, your dentist will complete a thorough head and neck exam. During this exam, you will feel the dentist gently press on the front and back of your neck, underneath your bottom jaw, and around your jaw joint. For a brief moment, you might feel like you’re at the masseuse! This is a vital part of the head and neck exam.
Gum Tissue, Tongue, Roof of the Mouth
After gently evaluating your head and neck area, our dentists will begin to observe tissues in your mouth. First, they will look at the gums, cheeks, and roof of the mouth. They will also have you stick your tongue out to check each side of it. These are common places for oral cancer to appear, and a thorough exam at each appointment can often identify early signs of cancer. Early identification of cancer often means much better long-term outcomes.
Check for Gum Disease
Have you ever wondered why your gum tissues bleed? This is not normal in healthy gums and is often a sign of early gum disease. If left uncorrected, gum disease can lead to bone loss around your teeth, affecting the stability. At East Market Family Dental in Blairsville, the dentists and hygienists will give you personalized advice on ways to keep your gum tissue healthy.
After all areas of your mouth are checked for oral cancer, Drs. Adam or Christina will begin examining the teeth. This involves reviewing the dental x-rays and comparing those findings to what they see in your mouth. If we find a cavity, the dentist will recommend that it is removed and replaced with a sealed filing. If treatment is needed, we take pride in offering our patients many options to fit their treatment goals and budget.
If it's time for your next exam, please call East Market Family Dental. We are open until 7 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Saturdays from 8 AM till 12 PM for your scheduling convenience.
Dental Exams FAQs
Can I refuse to have dental x-rays taken and still have an exam done?
Absolutely. At East Market Family Dental, you are in complete control of what we do or do not do at your appointment. Keep in mind, however, that the dentist will be limited to what he or she can diagnose in your mouth without the use of dental x-rays.
Will my insurance cover the exam?
Every dental insurance coverage is different, but most insurances cover 100% of exams, with no out-of-pocket expense to the patient. Typically, two checkups are covered each year (one every six months)
Do I have to get my teeth cleaned when I get an exam?
No. However, our patients often get the exam done following the cleaning. Typically, dental insurances cover 100% of cleanings and exams. Having the exam and cleaning done at the same time is more convenient because it eliminates the need for a second visit to our office.