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A dental exam is performed to ensure your teeth, and gums are being well taken care of and free of cavities and other more major dental problems.
Things such as gum disease, oral cancer, tooth decay, cavities, infections, and a thin jawbone that can lead to tooth loss can all be discovered through a dental exam.
It also helps your dentist to detect underlying problems with your overall health. What's going on in your mouth can tell him so much more than just what oral problems you might have.
A dental exam costs $139 according to the Ontario Dental Association 2020 fee guide and does not include X-rays.
Most dental insurance will cover a dental exam as a basic procedure.
We can help you find out if your dental plan covers this procedure or you can call your insurance company for details.
There are many benefits to having a routine dental exam. Your dentist has the opportunity to give your teeth a proper examination and it helps the dentist to know if you are cleaning your teeth right or if he needs to show you the correct way to brush and floss.
If you have anything like a cavity starting or even something more important like an infection, your dentist is able to detect it and to get it taken care of before it gets too serious and causes more damage.
A dental exam can also help with the first signs of a more serious illness, for example, diabetes and oral cancer.
Signs can show in your mouth and be an early detection so that your dentist can alert you and have you make an appointment with your doctor.
The first thing your dentist will usually do is a simple check inside your mouth for any signs of abnormalities such as any kind of redness or swelling.
He will check your face and neck for anything out of the ordinary. He will ask you about any medical conditions you have or that might run in your family. He will check for things such as oral cancer and bone loss.
When the exam is completed, your dentist will discuss any problems he has found and anything that may cause you problems later in life. He will advise you on how to better care for your teeth and gums.
X-rays are usually taken to make sure there are no problems that the eye can't see.
There are different types of X-rays taken at a dental examination to provide more information to the dentist to provide a better diagnosis.
These x rays are used to check the overall health of your tooth, from the top of the crown to the root down inside the jawbone.
It's used to check for anything out of the ordinary with the root or bone structure around it. These x rays are usually taken when a patient is complaining of a toothache.
These are single x-rays and usually taking one x-ray is sufficient. It is important to have this done at any sign of pain or swelling to ensure there is no infection.
These x rays are usually done once a year to check your molars. The patient has to bite down on a small piece of plastic that is placed between the top and bottom molars.
Four x rays are taken to show all four molars. It shows the dentist what is going on between your molars.
It lets him see how your teeth come together when your mouth is closed and it also shows if there is any bone loss that could have been caused by an infection.
These are taken at your first dental visit, they're updated every few years.
This helps the dentist to see each and every tooth in your mouth and in between them to detect any problems that there may be.
These x-rays are also taken at the first visit then every few years afterwards.
This x-ray is taken like most normal x-rays, standing up with a protective vest on. It gives the dentist an overall view of your teeth and even your sinus cavities.
It's particularly important as it helps to check the overall health of your teeth, including but not limited to tumours, bone loss and abscesses.
Most full dental exams with X-rays will take around 60 minutes. If a procedure is necessary during the exam then the examination might take a little longer or the procedure will be scheduled for a different date.
A routine dental exam should be done once per year providing there are no problems. It helps with the early detection of any signs of trouble. Your dentist may want to see you more often if he has reason to be concerned. But, basically, it all depends on your personal oral needs.
Dr. Somayeh Nourian is the principal dentist at Kiwi Dental focusing on restorative, cosmetic and dental surgeries. With over 14 years of experience as a family dentist, she has earned the trust of many families to take care of their oral health.
She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a bachelor of Biochemistry and earned her dental degree from the University of Toronto in 2006. She has a passion for dental surgeries including dental implants and gum grafts and is currently part of the Ontario Dental Implant Network.