A dental exam is an integral part of dental care recommended for adults every six months and children every year. Besides looking for early signs of tooth decay and gum disease, a dentist may also be able to identify other problems that are developing or are more difficult to detect with a visual examination alone.

 If you are going for a dental check-up for the first time, here are a few frequently asked questions:

What is a dental exam?

A teeth exam consists of checking the teeth, gums, tongue, and throat to notice any abnormalities. The examination may include a regular cleaning or scaling and polishing (deep cleaning) of the teeth if required.

What happens during a dental exam?

A dentist’s job is to first determine what kind of dental problem the patient might be facing. It begins by examining the teeth and gums. This is done using a mirror, a probe, and a pick. It helps identify any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. The dentist may also check for any signs of infection in the teeth and gums. Teeth may be examined for root canal infections or abscesses.

The dentist examines the patient’s mouth for other general oral health problems like ulcers or sores caused by trauma or medical conditions. The dentist may perform dental x-rays to detect issues that may not be visible otherwise.

Regular or deep cleaning is also often a part of a dental check-up.

How frequently should I get a dental examination procedure?

The frequency of a dental examination procedure will depend on your age, where you live, and the type of care you have been following or recommended to follow. Generally, the older you are, the more frequently you need to have a check-up.

Typically, dentists recommend getting a tooth examination at least once a year.

How much does a dental exam cost?

This can vary in price depending on what you need to get done and what office you go to. Some dentists will offer discounts for their patients if they pay for services upfront. Others may offer discounted rates for those who have insurance coverage.

Is a dental check-up covered by insurance?

Dental check-ups are not always covered by insurance. Check with your provider to see what you need to pay out of pocket for your exam.

How to prepare for a dental examination procedure?

To prepare for a procedure, avoid consumption of any food or drinks for at least 2 hours before the appointment. Brush your teeth at least 10 minutes before the visit and do not forget to bring a list of all medications that you are currently taking. You can also ask your dentist how to prepare for a scheduled teeth exam.

Dr. Nick Addario provides a wide range of dental services in Chula Vista, including a dental examination procedure. Call or visit to book your appointment.