The dental examination shows how healthy your mouth is. After the examination we will discuss the findings and plan together how to deal with any problems.
What does the dentist do?
As well as looking in your mouth the dentist will ask questions – for example these might include:
- Why you’ve come for an examination.
- Any problems you’ve noticed (such as pain or sensitivity).
- Your general health and any medicines you might be taking (because these can affect your dental care).
- Your diet (because sugary snacks and drinks can cause tooth decay).
- How you clean your teeth (because correct cleaning helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease).
- Smoking and drinking (because both can harm your mouth).
The questions will depend on what is seen in your mouth.
- Have your face and neck checked to see they are healthy.
- Have the underside of your jaw felt.
- Have the inside of your mouth examined including your tongue, your cheeks and lips, the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat – places where there might be a problem, that you can’t see or feel.
- Have your teeth and gums examined to see whether they are healthy or whether there are signs of decay or gum disease. For children tooth and jaw development will be checked to see whether orthodontic treatment might be needed later or now.
- Have your mouth compared now with how it was when you were last seen.
- Possibly have x-rays taken or plaster models made to show how your teeth bite together.
- Be told about any treatment needed and have explained the choices and whether there will be any cost.
The examination may take longer if you are a new patient to the practice.
The benefits of dental examinations:
- Regular examinations mean problems can be spotted and corrected early before treatment becomes complicated.
- A thorough examination helps you and the dentist to look after your mouth and prevent future problems. The dentist will explain the options and then you can decide together what will be best for you.