A new patient exam is basically a routine checkup. This examination is the best way for a dentist to gauge the overall health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Visiting your dentist is crucial for the overall health of your teeth and gums.
Before you examination, your dentist will simply do a visual examination of your face and neck. During this time, we’ll make sure to look for any anomalies, such as: bumps, lumps, and swelling. Then we will check inside your mouth—seeing specifically if you have any discolorations and/or ulcers on your palate, tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips. During this part of the exam, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening.
After the visual examination, your dentist will check your bite and your jaw for any problems. Examining your gums and jawbone is important, for they are the foundation of your teeth. We will check them for signs of bone disease, gum disease, and gingivitis. Afterward, we review your teeth, screening for cavities and other issues. Lastly, your dentist will specifically address any causes or concerns that you have.
Many times, after the clinical examination, your dentist will require X-rays of your mouth. Often, issues are not visible to the naked eye. X-rays provide a deeper look inside your mouth, and below your gums and teeth. If you have any issues, such as gum disease, X-rays will determine the severity of these issues—as well as checking for bone loss. Also, these X-rays will provide a benchmark for future visits.