Scheduling an annual dental exam, along with your dental cleaning, is important for your dental health. During your exam, we will compare information from your last appointment to note any changes, review any areas that are a possible cause for concern, discuss any possible treatments and overall ensure that your smile is healthy. Our staff at Lincoln Dental Arts care about our patients, their wellbeing, and are well-versed in cosmetic dentistry. Dental changes can be a signal for other health problems, and we can point out indicators that are sometimes missed by personal physicians.

We like to see our patients for a dental exam about once a year; some patients may require more frequent visits, which we can discuss during your appointment. Exams are done to review the overall status of the mouth and all its working components, while also looking to catch problems while they are small. During your dental exam, we generally:
  • Visual Exam: Using a probe, we will take a visual look at your mouth and all of the visible soft and hard tissues. We will look for anything that can indicate a problem, including cavities, growths, lumps, discoloration, level of plaque, and more. If we see something of interest, we may want to take a closer look.
  • Digital X-ray Exam: Digital x-rays are one of our most important tools, and they allow us to see areas that are otherwise hidden. We can take a closer look at teeth and soft tissue for signs of decay and disease.
  • Oral Cancer Screening: Part of the visual screening is the examination of symptoms that could indicate possible oral cancer. An oral cancer screening is painless and done quickly, and often the patient is unaware that it has even occurred. We are looking for anything out of the ordinary, including changes in tissue color, bumps, or changes in skin texture.
  • Gum Disease Screening: A common dental issue is some level of gum disease. During your dental cleaning, we will evaluate your level of plaque and look for indications of disease. Symptoms of gum disease are often noticeable to the patient, though they may not understand the severity of the problem. We are looking for gums that easily bleed, are puffy, red or irritated.
If any problems, or indications of problems, are found, we can then discuss various treatment options specific to the patient based on their oral health needs, physical health needs, and financial needs.

Why Is It Important To Have A Yearly Exam?

Patients may wonder why an annual exam, preferably with the same dentist, is important. In addition to looking for problems, we also look for changes. This can include changes in your teeth positioning, jaw positioning, changes in tissue, or changes in the overall health of your teeth. Changes can be an indication of other problems. By continuing to see the same dentist year after year, you are allowing us to build a record of your mouth and then see changes as they occur. Your oral health may depend on it.