What happens in a normal dental exam?
If you've never had a dental exam or if it's been a while since you had one, be assured that there's nothing to fear. The dentist will look at three main areas: your teeth, of course, but also your gums and the skin in your mouth.
For the teeth exam, the dentist will use a small mirror and a probe to look for the general soundness of the teeth, for accumulation of plaque and for any decay. The dentist will also check your bite.
The dentist will examine your gums to see if they are firm and pink. He may also use a periodontal probe to check the depth of the depression where the tooth meets the gum. If those depressions are too deep they could indicate gum disease.
The dentist also will examine the inside of your cheeks, your lips and your tongue for any discoloration or sores that could require not only dental but also medical attention. Your dentist is concerned not only with your smile and the state of your teeth, but she or he could be the first to detect a problem like oral cancer. Don't put off a visit -- schedule your next appointment today!