Understanding Your Dental Exam

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There are things that can happen in your life without you even realizing they’re happening. As a kid, you probably had a nice, clean home – you probably didn’t even think about all the work your parents were putting into cleaning the place until much later in your life. Walking through the city, you probably encounter design that it so seamless, you don’t even realize you’re experiencing it, from how the sidewalks and traffic flow to the greenery on the boulevard. You might be surprised to learn that this is true in dentistry, too; you’ve probably had comprehensive dental exams without even knowing it.

What is your dental exam? Well, it happens after your cleaning; the dentist stops by, looks into your mouth, makes a couple of notes, then tells you everything is going well, or maybe that you have a cavity. A lot of folks think that’s a simple evaluation of the cleaning, but in fact, you’re getting an exam. They’re checking a lot; how your gums look, how previous dental work is holding up, signs of grinding and clenching, the state of your jaw and bite, and more. They might also take a look at your neck, in an effort to make sure you don’t have inflamed lymph nodes or other signs of health problems.

So you’ve probably had a lot of dental exams, and if you didn’t realize you were having them, that’s great news! It means you’re likely in very good health – keep that brushing and flossing up! That said, even people in excellent health should be aware that an exam is taking place, because it gives you the opportunity to provide your dentist with vital information. You can talk with your dentist about any changes you’ve noticed in your own oral health; gum discoloration, bleeding, tooth sensitivity, and any other concerns you might have. You’ll also want to talk to them about general medical changes, such as medications you’re taking, pregnancy, allergies, and illness.

Another thing you’ll want to talk to your dentist about is any anxiety you have about visiting. This is something you can bring up with receptionists before you even go into see the dentist; there are a plethora of tools and techniques that have been developed to help you get through your anxiety. The longer you wait to go to the dentist, the more problems can develop, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to address anxiety, and deal with it head on: know that you’re not alone in experiencing anxiety, and that we can help.

Here at Markham Dental, we’re proud to have experienced dentists who are well-versed in effective dental exams. Should you have any problem areas, we’ll find them, discuss them, and help you treat them; we can also discuss your oral health care regime, and make suggestions to improve your habit. No matter what your oral health concerns are, Markham is here to help!