Dental Examinations in Nashville, TN

Man consulting with the dentist after a dental examIt’s vital to keep up with your oral hygiene daily to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. However, some issues and areas require a professional eye to spot, and that’s where regular dental exams come in. There’s a reason dentists are one of the most consistently visited medical professionals. A thorough dental exam can help prevent far more problems than brushing and flossing alone.

What Are Dental Exams?

Dentists recommend brushing and flossing twice a day. However, there are parts of your mouth that regular brushing and flossing alone can miss. Bacteria will thrive in these places, growing and spreading to cause problems. In addition, a professional dentist can identify the indicators of an adverse health condition that an untrained eye would miss.

Dental issues can develop without symptoms. People often miss these problems until they progress enough to cause pain or damage to teeth. At this point, it’s too late to prevent the problem, and treatment must shift from simple preventive dental care to more invasive, expensive, and time-consuming options.

Experts recommend you visit a dentist for a dental exam at least every six months. If you’re experiencing any adverse oral health conditions, you should make more frequent visits to discuss your health with your dentist. Alternatively, if you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment or oral surgery, your dentist may place you on a set schedule of visits for more regular examinations. Consult with your dentist about how often you should be visiting.

What Happens During A Routine Dental Exam?

Your dentist will review your medical history and discuss any changes in medication or problems you may have experienced since your last visit.

The dentist will visually inspect your teeth and soft tissue during the exam with a tiny mirror. They will look for any indications of decay, periodontal disease, or bacterial colonies that brushing or flossing may have missed. This part of the exam is also where the dentist will detect any cavities, chipped teeth, or other issues that require restorative measures to resolve.

You will likely also have dental x-rays taken if it’s been over a year since you last had them done. These imaging tests can be used to look for small cavities or other unseen dental issues affecting your teeth, or they can observe your entire mouth to evaluate the possibility that a more severe problem could develop. Your dentist will evaluate your:

  • Soft tissue, such as your tongue, lips, inside your cheeks, and the roof of your mouth
  • Your temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull
  • Gum tissue and the supporting structures of your teeth
  • Your head and neck, to examine your lymph nodes and salivary glands

After your exam, your dentist will inform you of any problem areas and offer recommendations for improving or maintaining your oral health at home. They will also take the opportunity to diagnose oral health conditions you may be experiencing and set up a treatment plan with you, scheduling future appointments and referring you to any specialists you may need to see.

How Long Does An Oral Exam Take?

A routine oral exam typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how thorough the exam needs to be. When you visit the dentist for a dental exam, plan for the procedure to take at least 30 minutes. That way, you’ll have enough time to ask questions, communicate about problems you may be experiencing, and raise any concerns.

Dental Exam Cost

Most dental insurance plans cover routine dental exams. Check your insurance policy before you go for an exam to see which services are covered.

Schedule an Appointment with us Today

At Poff Dental Associates, we are proud to have served the patients of Bellevue, TN, and the surrounding communities for as long as we have. Quality dental care requires a team of compassionate and well-educated professionals, which is why we have dedicated ourselves to providing healthy smiles and a comfortable experience to everyone who walks into our office. Whether you’re coming in for your first exam or you’ve been with us for years, we treat everyone like a part of our family.

Please get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to visit one of our professional dentists.