Regular dental exams are a crucial part of preventative dentistry because they allow Dr. Patel to address dental problems in their early stages, and to identify serious problems. Most people need an exam every six months, but he may recommend more frequent visits depending on your circumstances.
Why do I need dental exams?
Dental problems tend to get worse when left untreated. When your see Dr. Patel for regular visits, small problems won’t have a chance to become major concerns. For instance, the longer tooth decay goes unchecked the more damage it can do to a tooth, and the less of the original tooth that can be saved. Good hygiene and dental visits are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings. Routine exams also give you the best chance for early detection and treatment of serious oral problems.
What happens during a routine dental exam?
Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. The dental hygienist will first give your teeth a thorough cleaning. Then Dr. Patel will review the x-rays, and if necessary take new ones. He will make a visual inspection of the inside of your mouth, and may use instruments like a long handled mirror, and a dental explorer. If all is healthy, your gums will be firm and pink, and your teeth won’t have any soft, rough or discolored surfaces. Dr. Patel will recommend treatment for any signs of decay or other problems, and make notes on any conditions that deserve observation on the next visit.
How often do I need exams?
Many adults require exams every six months. If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup or gum disease, Dr. Patel will recommend more frequent appointments.