Dental Examinations Explained


Saving Smiles has an ethos of championing preventative dentistry through the best dental advice and treatment, improving oral hygiene and reducing the need for treatment.

Dental exams are an essential piece of preventative dentistry.

Since most oral health problems are preventable and best treated as early as possible, it’s vital to see your dentist for regular evaluations and x-rays. That way, you can intervene early with dental problems, while they’re less damaging to your tooth and more affordable to treat.

What Does a Dental Examination Consist Of?

A dental examination is usually combined with the regular teeth cleaning visit scheduled with dental hygienists. During the dental exam, your dentist will screen for gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer and ask about any underlying medical conditions. The dentist or dental hygienist may also want to discuss certain lifestyle factors as they affect dental health. Dental x-rays are taken to evaluate areas that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Assessing for bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues is essential, as these issues can be present, but cause no symptoms or signs such as pain or discoloration.

How Often Should You Get a Dental Exam?

People with healthy teeth and gums are encouraged to book their dental hygiene visit depending on their needs, which your dentist and hygienist will let you know. The exam portion done by the dentist is typically done once yearly, but can differ depending on your needs. However, if you have continual dental health issues, your dentist may suggest more frequent dental care appointments. For instance, people with a history of underlying gum disease tend to respond better to dental care when they see their dental team for teeth cleaning as frequently as every 3-4 months.

Types of Dental Exams

Dentists provide different variations of dental exams, depending on the issue or problems the patient is experiencing.

Comprehensive exams are completed at your initial checkup and occasionally repeated every several years.
Regular dental exams are typically referred to as a “recall” exam. These are the types of evaluations your dentist will complete during a routine visit. They allow your dentist to check for problems inside your mouth that may have developed since the last exam.

Recall visits make up the majority of your oral health appointments. Unless you’re in pain, have a broken tooth, or are actively addressing a specific dental disease, most of your visits will consist of this type of encounter.

Again, that’s because your oral health only changes slightly between sessions. Intercepting issues when they’re first visible can save both the integrity of your teeth as well as your budget!

Why Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned So Frequently?

When it comes to preventing stains, tartar buildup, and periodontal disease, regular cleanings are essential. Tartar buildup tends to be heaviest along your gums, but it also extends down underneath your soft tissues. If not removed regularly, the bacterial deposits can cause your gingiva (gums) to detach from the teeth and loss of the surrounding bone. Preventative cleanings can halt this cycle.

By the time you start to see heavy buildup on your teeth, you’re well past due for your dentist exam and cleaning.

Skipping appointments because things seem “fine” can lead to a drastically higher cost of care in the future, especially in children, whose enamel is thinner and can decay at rapid rates. If nothing is wrong, we want to help you keep it that way!

Saving Smiles prioritizes minimally-invasive and preventative care. Taking control over your wellness begins with finding a team you can trust.

How long has it been since you last saw a dentist?

Contact us today to get booked in!

01327 342 412 for Weedon, or 01933 312 992 for Rushden.