Exams, Cleanings, and Oral Cancer Screenings
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while - or at all - you are not the only one. Over one-third of American adults have not been to the dentist for a dental exam in at least 12 months. Over 20% of American adults have never visited the dentist at all. If you haven’t been to the dentist recently, and you want to make an appointment, here is some information from Central Dental Specialists about what a dental exam, cleaning, and oral cancer screening looks like.
How Long Does a Dental Exam Take?
The average dental exam takes between 30 to 45 minutes. You need to know, however, that if it has been a while since you have visited a dentist, your exam may take a bit longer, or you may need two short visits.
How Often Should I Get a Dental Checkup?
The American Dental Association recommends that both children and adults need to get a dental checkup every six months. This ensures that you both have the healthiest smiles possible.
What is Included in a Comprehensive Dental Exam?
A comprehensive dental exam usually begins with questions about your overall medical health. You will be asked about any surgeries you have had, any medical conditions you have, and what medications you’re taking. Then, you’ll need x-rays. Today’s dentistry offers x-rays that are painless, fast, and good for one to two years, depending on the patient. After you get x-rays done, the next step is to have your teeth cleaned. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth, and get rid of tartar, especially along your gum line. After your teeth have been cleaned, the hygienist will then polish your teeth with toothpaste, a baking soda spray, or other products. Your teeth will feel clean and smooth!
After the teeth cleaning is finished, a dentist will come in and take a good look at your teeth. They may ask you questions and use tools to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. The dentist may also have recommendations for you to keep your teeth healthy.
Oral Cancer Screening
As part of your dental exam, the dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening. This is a quick and simple process in which the dentist performs a visual exam of the head, neck, mouth, and face. The dentist checks for any abnormalities such as lumps, patches of red or white areas, or sores.
Mouth sores and patches can be common, and most of these are noncancerous. If our professionals find anything unusual, you may be required to do a few additional tests to determine the cause. This could involve removing some of the cells and sending them for testing.
Are Dental Checkups Worth It?
Dental checkups are an essential part of your health. Without regular dental checkups, your teeth and gums can become infected with bacteria. That bacteria can not only destroy your teeth and gums, but they can cause infections that can travel to other parts of the body, such as your heart and lungs.
How Do I Get a Dental Checkup?
It is very easy to get a dental checkup. In fact, all you have to do is give the dentist’s office a call to schedule an appointment. Do you need to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning and an exam? We can help. Contact Central Dental Specialists at (781) 438-6618 today and let us make you an appointment.