Keep your teeth healthy by practicing good oral hygiene. If you brush and floss your teeth each day and eat a balanced diet low in sugar, you can keep your teeth in good condition and prevent dental health complications.
But despite your best home care efforts, there are some things only a dentist can do for your teeth. For that reason, we would like our patients to come in for dental exams once every 6 months. During these exams, Dr. Schiffer can catch dental problems in their early stages when it’s easier to treat them. Dental exams are also important for maintaining dental health even for those who have prosthetic teeth.
What Happens during Dental Exams?
When Dr. Schiffer performs a dental exam, he will clean your teeth and check for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease. He will also evaluate your risk for potential oral health complications, perform diagnostic procedures, and check your neck, face, and mouth for irregularities.
Dr. Schiffer will also perform an evaluation that will determine if you need any teeth restored or extracted. He’ll also check your jaw looking for alignment issues, eliminate stains from your teeth, and determine whether you need a fluoride treatment. He’ll also check your dental implants, dentures or bridges to ensure that they fit properly.
When you come in for your appointment, we may need to take some x-rays of your mouth. This allows us to examine your mouth at a much closer level. We can take several different types of dental x-rays, but they’re only needed once a year at most. Ask us if you’re concerned about exposure to radiation, but the chances of this are very low.
Oral Cancer Exams
Older patients may need an oral cancer exam. This involves Dr. Schiffer feeling around your jaw, neck, cheeks, lips, tongue, and the top and bottom of your mouth. It should go without saying that we need to catch the symptoms of cancer early on when it’s easier to manage.
Periodically we’ll need to make an impression of one or both of your jaws to craft a model of your oral tissues and teeth. Doing so lets us examine your bite better or make bleaching trays or a mouthguard if we need to.
To make these impressions, Dr. Schiffer will place trays on your upper and lower teeth for a few minutes. The trays are shaped like horseshoes and filled with a gelatinous material. After we remove the trays, we’ll use them to craft a cast of your teeth. We also may ask you to bite down on a soft material afterward to evaluate your bite.
After we complete the exam, we’ll explain the results to you. This will involve an evaluation of your oral health and an overview of your risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and other health problems. We’ll also list methods by which you can prevent these conditions and schedule your next appointment. If you’re at an increased risk for dental problems, we may have you come in more often.
To schedule an appointment, call us at (470) 222-8983.