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The Importance of Getting an Annual Dental Examination

Dental Team

Getting an annual dental exam ensures that your teeth are in optimal condition year-round. Learn what takes places during yearly dental examinations.

If you don't have any pain in your mouth, it usually means no dental issues, right? Not necessarily. If you are just going to the dentist whenever you've got an issue, you are doing yourself a big disservice. A dental examination is an important part of a proactive oral care plan. Yearly dental examinations by a dentist are needed to find tiny problems before they turn into bigger ones. At Parker West Dental in Plano, TX, our experienced dental team provides yearly dental examinations for children, teenagers, adults, and seniors for better oral health. Regardless of how old you are or if it's been a while since you went to the dentist, get a dental examination for everyone in your household at our Plano dental practice and keep your teeth healthy year round. Here are some things you should know about the importance of dental exams and good oral health.

Your Child’s First Dental Exam

It is never too soon to begin going to the dentist. Before your baby turns one, they ought to also have their very first trip to the dentist. In your child's very first dental exam, the dentist will assess their gums and look at their teeth as they begin to come in. Throughout a baby's very first dental examination, your dentist may provide advice about boosting your child's oral health, such as tips on how to brush their teeth, and answer common questions, such as bottle feeding and thumb sucking. Though your infant's very first dental exam should not take long, it is quite important to set that foundation and to begin a roadmap to their future oral health well-being.

Laying a Foundation for Good Oral Health

When you have kids, it is essential to be certain they're going to the dentist each year for an examination. This helps build good habits that can give them a life of good dental health. Throughout a kid's yearly examination, the dentist will generally look for cavities and other issues. The dentist may check your kid's brushing habits and might provide a few strategies to help develop their dental hygiene routine. Your dentist may also help you figure out if your child should go to an orthodontist for treatment.

Dealing with Dentophobia

Some people skip their yearly exam due to stress or even a fear of the dentist (dentophobia). At our Plano, TX dental office, we do our very best to listen to and relieve your fears so that you have a good appointment. Our staff will describe what's going to happen before we start your dental health exam and offer you as many breaks as you want to feel safe. In addition, we offer numerous kinds of sedation that might be used throughout your regular appointments to help you stay calm. For many patients, nitrous oxide gas (also called laughing gas) or an oral-conscious medicine (generally an anti-anxiety prescription medication, such as Valium or Halcion) may be taken to help keep you awake, but relaxed and calm throughout your visit. In the event that you or your child wants some form of sedation dentistry, you'll have a consultation with your dentist prior to your dental examination to ascertain whether sedation may be safely utilized, and which is most suitable, what you need to expect during your appointment, and whether you'll have the ability to drive after.

What Happens During Your Annual Exam

Typically, there are five parts to a standard dental exam — electronic x-rays, cavity checks, looking for gum disease, an oral cancer exam, plus a consultation. Based on your dental health, your examination might be brief or it might take a bit longer. The most important aspect is that everything is checked and discussed in case a treatment plan should be recommended.

Cavity Check
Throughout your exam, your team will look for cavities in your teeth. This might consist of utilizing an electronic cavity sensor or employing a manual instrument to search for weak sections of enamel. When the enamel is weak, but a cavity has not yet started, you might be able to avoid a full-blown cavity through a fluoride treatment as well as great oral care at home.

Gum Disease Exam

For gums that are inflamed or red, your dentist may measure your gum pockets. If they're more than three millimeters, they might suggest a periodontal treatment to eliminate buildup and rejuvenate your gums.

Getting Your Results
Once your dental examination is done, your dentist will speak with you regarding any issues they discovered. If they do find issues, your dentist will talk about your treatment choices and create your customized plan. This is a great time to ask your dentist any questions that you might have or ask them to check out your flossing and brushing technique.

Oral Cancer Exam
A significant part of each dental examination is looking for signs of oral cancer. This begins with a visual check of your mouth as the dentist checks for areas of concern. Following this, the dentist will feel your throat and jaw to look for growths. If your dental practitioner discovers any early indicators of oral cancer, then they will recommend a specialist for a biopsy and therapy.

X-Rays
At the start of your yearly dental examination, a simple set of electronic x-rays will be needed so that your dentist can look for issues, such as impacted teeth, areas of decay, and dental abscesses. Every couple of years, your dental team might suggest a complete mouth set, which will include your gums, teeth, and jaw. These will help your dental team check for jaw damage, tumors, as well as other issues.

Find Issues Early with Annual Dental Exams

Ensure you and your loved ones have healthy, beautiful smiles by getting yearly dental exams. Routine dental examinations at Parker West Dental Associates in Plano, TX will ensure that your entire mouth is assessed thoroughly as we check for oral health problems (for instance, gum disease and cavities). We will be able to treat them before they turn into large, painful issues. We perform dental examinations for Plano, TX patients of all ages. Our staff is skilled, kind, and compassionate so you’ll have a good experience, making it a lot easier to return each year. In case you've got fear or anxiety about going to the dentist, schedule a consultation to learn about sedation dentistry, which can help keep you relaxed and calm throughout your dental exam. We hope to see you along with your entire family soon for a dental exam!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.