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Dental Exams

Many people wonder why regular dental examinations are so necessary. "Why can't we just take care of our teeth and call the dentist when something goes wrong?" we often wonder. But there are legitimate reasons a dentist needs to take a good, thorough look at your mouth on a regular basis. Many serious oral conditions - from decay and cavities to oral cancer - can be recognized and acted upon quickly, as long as your dentist is getting regular peeks at your teeth. Here are some methods he or she will use and what they may be looking for:

The exam itself.  You've seen your dentist use tiny lights and mirroring devices to inspect deep in your mouth. This is one way he or she is able to thoroughly check all of your teeth - even those deep in the mouth or crowded together. (Don't forget: your dentist also has to check your gums, top to bottom, front to back.) With these quick checks, the dentist is taking an overview and looking for readily visible diseases or damage. He or she will also be looking for buildups of calcium or tartar on the teeth - as well as the inflammation that tends to come from that. He or she will also likely use a small probe to test the health and integrity of your gum line (where the teeth and gums meet). This will give him or her a good idea as to whether you're dealing with gum disease. Here, the dentist will share his or her concerns about your mouth, as well as make recommendations for brushing and flossing.

X-Rays.  Your dentist will also want to use x-ray technology to take clear, in-depth pictures of your teeth. (Neither of you want him or her to be guessing in there!) Your dentist or a dental assistant will take the x-ray photos of each section of your mouth. They will also take "bite wing" photos, or side-view shots of your back teeth to see the fit, crowding, and elevation of your teeth and jaw.

The benefits of dental x-rays are obvious. They give you and your dentist a clear, up-close view of your entire mouth. And, of course, they help to identify pains such as cracks or decay in the teeth, leading you to appropriate and timely treatment.

Professional Cleaning.  Of course, a trip to the dentist usually entails a cleaning as well. Here, your dentist will thoroughly clean every surface of your teeth with specially-designed dental instruments and chemical cleaners. He or she will aim to clear tartar from the teeth and loosen/remove deposits on and between them. (Those with large pockets between the teeth and gums will often require a scaling/root planing as well.)

The cleaning aspect is crucial for many reasons. It provides professional cleaning to the untrained citizen and, simply put, accomplishes much you can't. While you won't be having a cleaning EVERY time you visit the dentist, it's important to have your teeth cleaned professionally every six months or so.

You can save between 40% and 60% off normal dental fees by joining the Careington Dental Discount Plans.  02