Expert Dental Exams at Honest Care Dental

Your smile is one of your most significant features, and as such, you deserve a beautiful, healthy smile that radiates happiness and confidence. While routine dental home care like brushing and flossing helps keep your smile looking its best, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive dental exam is essential for your teeth and gums’ health.

At Honest Care Dental, we provide comprehensive dental care that helps restore, maintain and enhance your smile. Our talented dentist, Dr. Karl McMillan, DDS, and her team are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating oral infections and other related dental issues. We’re committed to providing gentle and extensive dental care to our patients in Salem, NH. 

What Is a Dental Exam?

A dental exam is an inspection of your gums and teeth to check for gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. A dental hygienist and a dentist usually perform them.

Why Would I Need a Dental Exam?

By going for routine dental exams, you can:

  • Avoid extensive and costly dental procedures
  • Prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease
  • Shorten the time you spend at the dentist
  • Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from drinks and food
  • Have a long-lasting healthy smile

Happy. Healthy. Honest.

We Appreciate You and We are Grateful for Your Trust.

How Often Should I Get My Teeth Examined?

Children and adults should go for a dental exam every six months, but if you have oral health issues such as bleeding gums (gingivitis), we may recommend more frequent dental examinations.  

What Happens During a Dental Exam?

When you come in for a dental exam, we will take a complete dental and medical history and ask about any health problems you have or medications you take. Some medications and health conditions can affect your oral health; for example, diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, while medications that cause a dry mouth can increase your tooth decay risk. 

Your dental exam will vary based on your situation, but during most dental examinations we will:

  • Check for tooth decay and gum disease: Our dental team will examine your teeth and gums for signs of stain, gum disease, gum recession, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. We’ll check every tooth to determine if there’s any decay and examine your gums and the bones around your teeth to see if there are any signs of periodontal disease or other gum diseases.
  • Screen for oral cancer: We will also examine your jaw, neck, the insides of your cheeks and lips, the sides of your tongue, and the roof and floor of your mouth for signs of oral cancer. 
  • Examine existing restorations: Our dental team will check the integrity of existing replacements like crowns, dentures, or bridges, evaluate your need for tooth restoration or replacement, and evaluate your bite (the way the top and bottom teeth fit together). 
  • Take dental X-ray: We may also want to take dental X-rays of specific areas of your mouth to see what’s happening beneath the surface of your gums and teeth. These X-rays help us discover dental issues not visible during the visual dental exam. Not every dental examination will involve a teeth X-ray, and our dentist or hygienist will discuss the need for X-rays depending on your risk of disease and overall oral health. 
  • Perform dental cleaning: Our hygienist will carefully clean your teeth using special equipment to remove tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth and gum line. We use a high-powered electric brush and gritty toothpaste to brush your teeth, and then we expertly floss your teeth to remove plaque from in-between your teeth. Finally, we polish your teeth’ enamel to remove stains and apply a fluoride treatment to prevent cavities.  Dental cleanings shouldn’t be uncomfortable, but if you have anxiety about having your teeth cleaned, don’t hesitate to talk to our dentist and hygienists. They may offer nitrous sedation to make the process more comfortable. 
  • Oral hygiene education: Our hygienist will also talk to you about your oral hygiene and recommend better ways of taking care of your teeth. This can include counseling about tobacco use, diet, and other lifestyle factors that can affect your oral health. 

How Long Does a Dental Exam Take?

Typically, dental exams take about 45 minutes, but they can be a little longer, depending on your oral health condition. If you have many dental problems, it will likely take more time to address the issues, but if your teeth are in perfect health, you can be on your way within a few minutes.  

What Are Some Factors People Should Consider When Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist?

With regular dental exams, you can ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy, and your smile stays beautiful. At Honest Care Dental, we’re committed to providing you with exceptional dental care. As your Salem, NH dentist, we strive to ensure you have a comfortable and positive dental exam experience. Contact us today to schedule your next dental appointment so that we can preserve your beautiful smile!