47 E Crestwood Rd #3 Kaysville, UT 84037

Learn More About an Initial Complete Dental Exam From a General Dentistry Office

An initial dental exam is much more in-depth than a standard checkup. It includes not only the teeth and gums but also bite analysis and cancer screening. It may also include an X-ray. The initial exam begins much like a regular checkup, with a tooth-by-tooth examination of the patient’s dental condition. The dentist will ask more questions here than at later regular checkups.

What is an initial complete dental exam?

An initial complete dental exam is a comprehensive oral examination the first time a patient visits a new dentist. During that first appointment, the dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam. This is to get a full and detailed picture of what is going on in the patient’s mouth. This initial exam helps the dentist establish a good rapport with a new patient.

What happens at an initial dental exam?

Besides checking the teeth for damage and looking at fillings and prior dental work, the dentist also examines the gums. This is known as a periodontal exam. It involves checking the firmness and color of the gums. Pale, squishy or receded gums indicate other dental health problems. Inflammation and bleeding are also indicators of unhealthy gums. Gum disease can not only lead to tooth loss but also contributes to general ill health elsewhere in the body.

At the initial dental exam, the dentist will likely want to test the patient’s bite strength. This can indicate levels of sensitivity and pain in the teeth. It is also useful in checking the degree of overcrowding. The dentist can see whether the patient has an over- or underbite as well.

Another seemingly superficial check is the whiteness of the teeth. More than mere aesthetics, the whiteness of the teeth indicates cleanliness. Evenly spaced, straight teeth are much easier to keep clean, simply because it is easier to maneuver the brush against them. Overcrowded teeth are conversely harder to clean thoroughly at home. This can lead to a buildup of plaque, tartar and general staining.

An initial complete dental exam also screens for oral cancer. This is a quick and painless test, but important. Early cancer detection maximizes the chances of treatment and recovery. Cancer is one of the causes of early mortality, so screening for oral cancer literally saves lives.

Alongside these checks, the initial complete dental exam may also include an X-ray. X-rays permit the dentist to examine the bones of the jaw and skull. This, in turn, provides insight into whatever is visible on the surface of the teeth and gums. Comparing the X-rays to the dentist’s own examination of the mouth helps assess the severity of dental problems.

After the initial complete dental exam

The initial exam is just that; the first visit to a new dentist. After the initial exam, the patient will need to book further regular checkups. Based upon the initial exam, the dentist can also offer advice on day to day oral hygiene between checkups. If you have not been to the dentist in a while, book a complete dental exam for a thorough assessment of your oral health.

Request an appointment here: https://www.kaysvillefamilydentistry.com or call Kaysville Family Dentistry at (801) 546-2439 for an appointment in our Kaysville office.

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