The dentist first examines your mouth visually, using dental equipment specialized in dental exams, x-rays such as mouth mirrors, assorted dental tools, and high intensity lights. They will look for cracked and decayed teeth, as well as review other important items such as:
- Medical history : The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health.
- Examination of tooth decay : Your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
- Oral cancer screening : The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation : Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
- Examination of existing restorations : Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order.
Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas below the gums. Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years.