Exams are performed by your dentist to evaluate your oral health, diagnose any disease and conditions, and create a treatment plan to address your needs. A comprehensive dental exam is performed at your initial dental visit. To maintain your oral health, your dentist will also perform check-up (recall) exams at regular intervals. Exams include the following:
- X-rays: Examination of x-rays is essential for the detection of cavities (decay), bone loss, abscesses, tumors, and other conditions. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions. To learn more, please go to our Digital X-rays page.
- Oral Cancer Screening: Visual and tactile evaluation of the face, neck, throat, lips, tongue, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer. To learn more, please go to our Oral Cancer Screening page.
- Examination of gum health: Evaluation of the gums and bone around the teeth to determine gum health and identify any gum disease. This includes visual examination for signs of inflammation and disease, evaluation of x-rays for possible bone loss, and gum (periodontal) charting where measurements of gum pockets, tooth mobility, and other conditions are recorded.
- Examination of tooth decay: All visible tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Existing restorations such as fillings and crowns are evaluated for signs of wear, damage, or defect.
- Intraoral photographs: An intraoral camera is used to document the visual appearance of teeth, existing restorations, gums, soft tissue, and conditions.
*Please note the people depicted in the photographs are models and not real patients.*