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What happens during a dental exam?

February 23, 2016
Posted By: Dr. Jason Annan
Dental Exam in Mount Pleasant SC

Everyone knows that brushing, flossing, and seeing their dentist regularly is important to maintaining their oral health, but many people still skip their routine dental visits. Seeing your dentist every six months for cleanings and exams is vital to ensuring your dental health is on track and in helping you avoid developing gum disease and tooth decay.

What to Expect During a Routine Visit

  • Cleaning – Even those that brush and floss twice a day will miss a spot every once in a while. When tartar isn’t removed regularly, it can calcify and turn into calculus or tartar, which cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. During your cleaning, your dentist will use a special tool to remove this tartar before it can build up under the gums or eat away at the enamel.
  • Exams – Your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to make sure that they are healthy and there are no early signs of tooth decay or gum disease. They may use a tool to poke the chewing surface of the tooth to try and find soft area’s associated with cavities or to measure the depth of the pockets in your gums caused by gingivitis. If there are any early signs, your dentist will come up with a treatment plan to reverse these issues before they cause damage.
  • X-rays – Though they may not be required during every visit, x-rays are helpful in finding possible problems below the surface of your gums. They can also help detect cavities that cannot be seen with the naked eye, or are developing between teeth. 
  • Fluoride treatment - In some cases, if you are prone to developing cavities, your dentist may do a fluoride treatment on your teeth. During the treatment they will use a polisher to create a thin layer of fluoride over your teeth, which will help protect them from bacteria and decay.

Don’t Avoid the Dentist

Even if it has been a long time since your last cleaning, don’t continue to skip your dental appointments. It is never too late to get treatment for gum disease and tooth decay. If you live in the Mount Pleasant, SC area and would like to learn more about what to expect during your routine exams, or to schedule a cleaning, please contact Dr. Jason Annan and his team at East Cooper Smiles today!

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