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Dental Exams With Smart Family Dentistry

Identifying a potential dental problem can be difficult to do by yourself. This is why routine dental exams are incredibly important.

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What Are Dental Exams?

Dental exams are routine checkups performed by dentists, evaluating the overall health and wellbeing of your teeth, gums, jaw, and face. Using different equipment and techniques, a dentist will use a dental exam to determine what type of treatment or procedure may be right for you. During an exam a dentist will:

Evaluate - Dental exams are used to evaluate your current dental health and identify any potential problems such as tooth and root decay, and gum or bone disease. Dentists and dental hygienists use this evaluation to better determine which procedure is right for you.

Assess - Exams can be very helpful for dentists to assess any potential problems with your bite or jaw. Sometimes these can be done without an x-ray image, however, x-ray images can provide an excellent window view into the jaw and mouth, making them a very powerful tool for dentists to assess your problems and determine your treatment needs.

Many dental exams are practiced before a dental cleaning to help identify any plaque, tartar, or problems with gum tissue. This helps dentists and dental hygienists with identifying which procedure is right for you.

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X-Ray Exams

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Many different procedures require a larger view of the mouth, thus dental x-ray images are needed for further examination. There are multiple types of x-ray, each with their own specific view of the mouth:

Bite-Wing X-Rays - Bitewing x-rays are used to monitor the upper and lower teeth in a particular area of the mouth, as well as detect any areas that may be afflicted by gum disease or decay in-between your teeth.

Periapical X-Rays -Primarily used for detecting any abnormalities with root structure or problems beyond the tips of the roots, periapical x-rays focus on a small section of the jaw. With a focus on the entire tooth, from the crown to the root, a periodical x-ray will show the full dimensions of a tooth, and can even help discover problems with jaw structure.

Occlusal X-Rays -For use on either the top or bottom half of the jaw, occlusal x-rays reveal the entire arch of teeth. This helps dentists identify any issues with full tooth development and placement.

Panoramic X-Rays -Panoramic x-rays are used to show the entire mouth. All teeth are visible, top and bottom, all the way around. Along with aiding with the detection of tumors, panoramic x-rays can be helpful for locating impacted teeth or identifying emerging teeth as well.

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