Did you know that up to 20 percent of Americans fear dental visits? Because of that fear, many people miss important dental visits that keep their teeth healthy and prevent extensive dental work. If you want to avoid issues with your teeth, then it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a dentist for a dental exam.

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, then you’re probably wondering what to expect. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn all about it!

Dental X-Rays

One of the first things that your dentist will do is take x-rays of your mouth and jaw. Expect to have your full mouth x-rayed at your first appointment. They may accomplish this through a series of x-rays or through a single panoramic x-ray that creates an image of all of your teeth and jaw.

X-rays allow your dentist to see what’s going on with the entirety of your oral health, including wisdom teeth and your sinuses. X-rays will not be taken at all of your subsequent visits unless you come in with an issue that requires them.

Check for Cleaning

Every dental exam comes with teeth cleaning. Regular cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup (calculus) that your brushing and flossing miss. For optimal dental health, you should visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam.

If your dentist feels like it’s appropriate, a dental hygienist will perform a cleaning at your first exam.

Check for Signs of Decay or Disease

During your cleaning or following your x-rays, a dental hygienist will take measurements of the distance from the top of your gum line to where your gums attach to your teeth. Ideally, this measurement should be between 1 and 3 millimeters. If it is deeper than this, then that is an indication of periodontitis.

If it’s been a very long time since your last cleaning, your dentist may opt for you to receive a dental scaling if your teeth show signs of periodontal disease. Dental scaling is basically a deep clean that is done in quadrants and treats the disease.

Your dentist will also check for cavities along with any other sign of decay or disease.

Examine Your Jaw and Bite

Finally, your dentist will make sure your bite and jaw are in alignment. If they are out of alignment, then it might cause you unnecessary pain.

Once your dentist has concluded the entirety of your dental exam, he or she will create a treatment plan for you and prioritize what should be done first. For example, if you have an abscess and slightly impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist will prioritize the abscess first and then give you a timeline for the other issues.

Ready to Schedule Your Dental Exam?

Visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning and dental exam is an important part of keeping your oral health in good shape. There’s nothing to fear, and your dentist will work with you to make sure you’re comfortable with the work that’s being performed.

Looking for a dentist to help you manage your oral health? Look no further! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.