Dental exams are a way for us to check-up on your oral health and ensure no complications have emerged since your last visit. More often than not, a routine cleaning and advice on how to brush your teeth properly is the only result of an examination. Sometimes, however, an issue may have cropped up, but keeping to your biyearly appointments mean we can tackle it quickly and efficiently
Robert J. Malone DDS advises patients to have examinations every six months, or when pain or discomfort occurs.
If you have come in due to some irritation or pain, our dentists will resolve that first, and find the cause of your discomfort. This may lead to further tests, such as an x-ray or 3D imaging. If the pain is caused by teeth placement, or your bite, we may refer you to the orthodontist.
We expect that some plaque will have built up since your last visit, as it is difficult for all of us to keep our mouths completely clean all the time. This means our team will clean the teeth more thoroughly than you could do at home. But first, they will examine the oral cavity for any abnormalities, i.e. swelling, redness, discolorations.
We will ask you questions about how your oral health has been since you last visited us, any pain, bleeding, or abnormalities. If there are any problems, our dentist may ask you questions about lifestyle choices or medical history, such as smoking habits and if you are taking any medication, which could be affecting your oral health.
3D Imaging, Molds and X-rays
There are many different tests we can perform, or ways we can take measurements, to get a better idea of what is affecting your oral health. Often, problems with your dental health cannot be seen with the naked eye, and our dentists need a better picture, which can be achieved through other methods.
X-rays are a test that most of us are familiar with, in which our dentists use the smallest amount of radiation possible, to achieve an accurate depiction of the mouth and the surrounding bone structure. Issues with the jaw can be located in this way, such as TMD (temporomandibular disorder), or issues with adult teeth that haven’t come through.
Alternatively, 3D imaging may be used as it shows both hard and soft tissue, bone and muscle, in a more dynamic depiction. You may have 3D imaging before a surgery, such as for a crown placement, so we can see what effect the placing of a crown would have on the surrounding tissue.
Molds are used for a lot of restorative procedures, to get an accurate model of your oral cavity. These are often sent to dental labs, where they can make custom-fit mouthguards, crowns, veneers, dentures, retainers and many more implements.
All of these tests are not indicative of any serious complications and are often used in a preventive manner. Robert J. Malone DDS uses exams to help maintain your oral health and ensure no complications develop unexpectedly. Contact us at (760) 546-5557 to book your next check-up.