Dental Exams and X-Rays

Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help to avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends twice yearly checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage.

How it's done
The dentist first examines your mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high intensity lights. They will look for cracked and decayed teeth, as well as review other important items such as:
 

  • Medical history review: The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
  • Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order.


Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas below the gums. Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months, and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years.   We will always factor in your needs on an individual bases rather than as a set protocol.  

 
For  new patients, your dentist will require a recent set of x-rays.  If you have had them taken recently at another dental office, they can be requested and sent to us.  If you need assistance we would be happy to help.  For an initial complete exam, the x-rays will need to be at our office at the time of the first visit.   If they are of  reasonable diagnostic quality  and of the entire dentition and bone we can avoid a need for new x-rays.  If not, your dentist will need a starting point with an overall picture.   This is necessary to determine your present state as well as for comparison if any future problems should arise.    All of our general dentistry x-rays are taken digitally with sensors instead of film.  This allows your exposure to be minimized as well as an instant reading of them.   We also drape  patients with a lead shield and thyroid collar.    
 
Again, we will always balance the need for x-rays based on the history and present state of oral health and keep in mind your overall health concerns.    
 
To book your next exam at Family Smiles, head HERE to review our office location phone
numbers or Click HERE to schedule an appointment today!

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