During a dental check-up, the patient will have an exam so our dentist can know how to help maintain the patient's oral health. This may result in nothing more than advice on how to improve their oral health, or our team may find something abnormal that needs treatment. During a routine exam, our team will also check for any signs of oral cancer. When an abnormality appears, our dentists can help support our patients and teach them about their dental health. Summit Dental Care offers dental exams in Seattle with a patient's biannual check-up to ensure their oral cavity is in great condition.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
Our dentist will investigate the oral cavity via the use of a mirror, light and tongue depressor to look for any abnormalities. Prior to an exam, the patient may have a cleaning. This is to remove any plaque or tartar that has built up since the last appointment and to allow the dentist to see the teeth without obstruction. When a patient has booked the appointment specifically for an abnormality they have found - which could be a lump, or a location in the patient's mouth causing discomfort - the dentist will investigate this first. If the dentist cannot conclusively advise the patient on what it is, the patient may need to have further testing.
This could be in the form of an x-ray, 3D imaging or a mold taken of their mouth. Our dentist will ask the patient questions about their medical history and lifestyle choices - if relevant - as well as any recent activities that could have affected their oral health. Lifestyle choices can have a significant influence on the patient's oral health, including smoking and drinking alcohol. Furthermore, conditions such as diabetes can have an adverse effect on a patient's oral health, such as increasing one's risk of gum disease, which is why our dentist may ask questions about the patient's medical history.
After The Dental Exam
Once the exam is complete, there will be three possible outcomes. The first outcome is the dentist says that the patient's oral health is good and will impart some advice on how to maintain good oral health. The second outcome is that the dentist prescribes some form of medication to treat any abnormality in the mouth. The third outcome is that the patient has to come in again for further tests or treatment.
If the dentist notices any abnormal lumps in or around the oral cavity, they will perform an oral cancer screening. This is a quick test in which the dentist can look and feel for lumps, and trigger further testing if necessary. Finding a lump alone is not indicative of oral cancer, as lumps are often benign, but it is wiser to test a benign lump than to ignore a malignant lump.
At Summit Dental Care, NamThien Vu, DDS wants to help you maintain excellent oral health. Our professionals can help resolve any complications should you have any problems with your dental health. To book a Seattle dental exam now, call our office at 206-292-9980!