exam and cleaning in San Diego

Does a Dental Exam Include Cleaning?

March 1, 2023

A dental exam evaluates your teeth and gums, and most adults and children must have dental exams at six-monthly intervals. These exams are essential to protect your oral health. You can develop severe and painful oral health problems if you don’t receive treatment for them before they aggravate.

Dental exams are generally performed by your dentist or dental hygienist specially trained to care for your teeth and gums. Dental hygienists are health professionals with training to clean teeth and help you maintain good oral health habits. Although you can visit the dentist near you for this six-monthly exam, you may need to take your children to a pediatric dentist who receives additional education focusing on dental care for children.

Why Are Dental Exams Suggested?

The ADA suggests dental exams for everyone, including children, adults, and seniors, to help detect oral health problems like tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral health issues early because they are easier to treat. The exams are also beneficial for learning the best ways to care for teeth and gums.

Why Do You Need a Dental Exam?

As an adult, you will require a dental exam every six months. If you have swollen or bleeding gums, you may have gingivitis, also called periodontal disease; your dentist might suggest visiting them more frequently to prevent gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis—the advanced version of gingivitis results in bone and tooth loss.

Children must receive their first dental exam no later than their first birthday, when they would have their first tooth. Following the initial exam, children must get six monthly exams, as suggested by their pediatric dentist. In addition, children may need more frequent exams if their dentist detects problems with tooth development or other issues.

Happenings during a Dental Exam

Dental exams will generally include:

  • Cleaning by the hygienist.
  • X-rays on occasion.
  • An examination of your mouth by dentist 92131.

During the cleaning, the dental hygienist will clean your teeth using tiny instruments to scrape dental plaque and tartar on your teeth. Dental plaque is a sticky film constantly forming on your teeth and hardening into tartar within two days. Tartar hardens on your teeth and beneath the gum line, making you vulnerable to gum disease.

Besides removing plaque and tartar, the hygienist flosses your teeth, getting deep between them to detect spots where you might bleed from the gums.

The hygienist will also brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste that helps remove any excess plaque between your teeth to prevent them from hardening.

Finally, you receive a fluoride treatment to strengthen tooth enamel and help it fight against mouth bacteria responsible for cavities.

If you need dental x-rays, the dentist or hygienist will place a lead apron over your chest to protect against radiation. They will have you bite on a small plastic piece to capture images of your teeth and gums. Many dentists have invested in digital technology to minimize radiation exposure, making dental x-rays safe to identify severe issues in your mouth that are not visible to the naked eye. It includes cavities forming between your teeth and the early stages of gum disease.

Are There Any Risks of This Procedure?

No risks are associated with dental exams because the dentist merely examines your oral cavity by looking at your teeth and gums, besides other areas, to detect cavities, gum disease, and abnormal growths in your mouth that might indicate the presence of oral cancer.

The cleaning might be uncomfortable occasionally but generally not painful unless you have avoided these procedures for over a year or longer when you might have excess hardened tartar requiring a deep cleaning for removal.

What Do the Results of This Procedure Mean?

The results of dental exams might indicate tooth decay, gingivitis, or other problems with your gums, and bone loss from conditions like accidental tooth loss, periodontitis, et cetera.

If the dentist detects you have gum problems or other issues during a dental exam and cleaning in San Diego, CA, they will likely recommend repeat visits or even refer you to a specialist for further evaluation. However, if everything is acceptable, they will discuss your oral hygiene regimen and diet and using a mouth rinse in your home care regimen to keep your mouth healthy. In addition, dentists emphasize reducing sugar intake and avoiding detrimental habits like smoking, et cetera, that affect your dental and general health.

If you have a dental exam scheduled, you can expect to receive a cleaning during your visit besides all the above from the San Diego dentist, who makes all efforts to ensure your mouth is in optimal shape.

If you have apprehensions about whether you must schedule separate appointments for dental exams and cleanings, we suggest you put your fears behind you and visit Bliss Dental Arts for this preventive measure. A short meeting with the dental practice will make you realize dental exams and cleanings are one process essential to keep your teeth and gums, besides your general health, in good condition.