A routine dental examination, sometimes referred to as a routine dental check-up, or as we like to call it a 'comprehensive dental examination' is the foundation of great oral health. It's what helps us, help you to ensure you maintain health teeth for life.
The dental examination is all about evaluating your current dental health and helping you address any dental issues early. What can you expect when you come in for a dental check-up with us? Simply put, a comprehensive assessment of your teeth, gums and mouth. Our dentists/hygienists will check for cavities, gum disease, risk of developing associated issues in your mouth and neck, your 'bite' and much, much more. Whilst the dental examination is meant to be 'routine' and thus considered mundane to some, we take immense care during your visit as we want to make sure we can help you address things early to avoid complications down the track.
This depends on if you are a new patient and therefore having x-rays with the examination or a returning patient for a routine check-up.
Usually, you will fit into either of the two following:
As a general rule of thumb we spend approximately 1 hour with you during your dental examination. We want to make sure that we check everything from incisors to molars, from soft palate to front bottom gum line, from forehead to neck. It's not nicknamed by our team 'comprehensive dental examination' for nothing.
As a new patient, or if you haven't seen us for a while, the first step of your dental examination will always being with a medical questionnaire. Why? Because we want to make sure we can provide you with the best and safest treatment possible for your particular case.
This means we will ask you what medications you are currently taking, what vitamins, if you are a smoker, how much alcohol you may consume, any allergies you may have and similar questions of that nature. We want to take the time to get to know you and understand if we need to take any precautions when we undertake any treatments you may need going forward.
You may be wondering why we need all this information before we even call you in for the actual dental check-up. To give you some examples, the anaesthesia we use may need to be different if you have diabetes, some medicines will affect your saliva production which can increase cavities or the medicines you are on may be unsafe to mix with those we might otherwise use or prescribe. These are obviously just some simple examples to help you understand that your medical history form is vital for us to treat you safely going forward.
Once we have all your details and medical information we can safely being with the actual dental examination with either one of our dentists or in our very experienced and friendly hygiene department.
During the dental examination we take our time and really examine your oral health. Our team will look at your teeth, gums and mouth using a variety of techniques and tools available to them to help determine if any issues are present.
Usually, this starts with an examination of the tooth surfaces with the naked eye to see if there are any obvious issues. If you have any existing fillings, our team will examine the quality of these to make sure they have not deteriorated over time and determine if they need replacement. A check will also be made for calculus deposits or tartar which is hardened dental plague.
Sometimes, depending on when your last visit was and also taking into account your medical background, we may suggest an x-ray should be undertaken to check for any abnormalities that the naked eye cannot see. Our team will use these to check for things such as any decay or cavities, jaw alignment issues, spacing between teeth, abscesses in the roots of your teeth and much more.
Once we have checked your teeth, we undertake a thorough examination of your gums. If your gums are healthy, your teeth should sit tightly in the gum and bone. If there is any movement or gap then this maybe a sign of periodontal disease, something we like to treat early to avoid further deterioration of the gums.
Your mouth generally, including your tongue, is then checked, along with your face and neck, to see if there are any signs of swelling which may indicate another underlying dental issue.
As we said above, our dental examination is incredibly comprehensive and we haven't even mentioned all of the process here. Trust us when we say, we would much rather find something early and treat it quickly than let it develop into a more serious dental and oral health issue.
After our team have checked everything, we will let you know of anything we have found during the examination. For example, we may have found a cavity that requires a filling or an issue with teeth being worn down unevenly possibly due to your brushing technique. We will go through each of these items with you and advise the best course of action on each.
Depending on what issues we have found we can either remedy them immediately or provide you with a recommended treatment plan. For example, if a filling is required you may choose to have that done then and there, rather than having to come back. On the other hand if a tooth requires a dental crown, we will explain to you the process and work out a treatment plan with you for a future appointment. Rest assured, there is never any obligation to have any other work done and we will always be happy to provide you with a full explanation for any questions you may have regarding any treatments we recommend.
Finally comes the part we actually enjoy the most. We get to talk you about any other concerns you may have. We like to think of it as our daily dental pop quiz. Whatever the question, don't be shy, we have pretty much heard them all. From toothpaste recommendations to understanding the process of an implant, whatever you want to know our team will take the time to explain the ins and outs of everything dental.
Whilst the actual dental examination with our team is complete, there is one more vital step in the process, that is of course booking your follow up appointments. Whether that be in a few weeks for any treatment plan work or in 6 months for your next routine dental check-up, our friendly reception staff will find a suitable time that works best for you.