Regular dental exams are an integral part of your preventive care at our Tempe, AZ, office. For most of our patients, we recommend they schedule their dental exams in conjunction with their cleanings, twice per year. Routine exams and cleanings help to prevent cavities and gum disease. They also allow us to catch such problems in the earliest stages for more effective treatment.
Does Everyone Really Need Biannual Dental Exams?
Yes! We recommend all our patients schedule biannual dental exams, including children. Even a child’s primary teeth are at risk of damage and decay. Regular exams of your child’s gums and baby teeth can help decrease his or her risk of problems with permanent teeth.
If your oral health is in a less-than-optimal state, it can negatively impact your overall health. With biannual dental exams, we can catch problems early when they are more easily treated and managed. These exams help us keep your oral health at an ideal level so your overall health is not affected.
Patients who have had gum disease, frequent cavities, or those who are at a greater risk for oral cancer may require more frequent exams. Depending on your unique situation and risk factors, we may recommend three to four exams and cleanings per year. More frequent exams and cleanings allows us to prevent your condition from advancing.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
If you schedule your cleaning and exam for the same appointment, we will complete your cleaning first. We will take digital x-rays of your teeth and jawbone for your dentist to review. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. Our advanced laser technology can detect the earliest signs of cavities, well before you exhibit any pain or other symptoms.
Your dentist will also check for other signs of damage related to other conditions such as bruxism. After reviewing your x-rays to ensure there are no issues with your tooth roots, existing fillings, or your jawbone, your dentist will examine your head and neck for signs of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
He or she may also perform an oral cancer screening at this time, depending on risk factors in your medical history and/or your age. An oral cancer screening simply involves checking your soft tissues for red or white patches, sores, lumps and other growths. We also use laser technology in the detection of oral cancer. As with early cavity detection, this allows us to detect signs of cancer before it is visible. With such early diagnosis, we can effectively treat the cancer lengthen the patient’s life span.
Why are Biannual Exams Important?
Regular dental exams are crucial in the prevention of decay, gum disease, and other serious conditions. The earlier a serious condition can be detected, the sooner treatment can take place. Early treatment can help greatly in preserving your natural teeth. Treatments for the early stages of gum disease and cavities are not only simpler and less painful, but they cost less and take less time. Typically, the more advanced a condition becomes, more expensive and time-consuming treatments are required. In some cases, such conditions could result in tooth loss. To help restore your oral health and your appearance, costlier restorations such as dental implants or dentures may be necessary.
Deficiencies in your oral health can have a significant impact on your overall health as well. Gum disease has been linked to other serious conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and dementia. Diagnosing and treating gum disease early can prevent the development of such serious conditions.
Schedule Your Next Exam
How long has it been since your last dental exam? If it has been over six months, you are overdue. Contact our dental office today to schedule your next appointment and get back on track.