The importance of a dental examination cannot be understated as it is an integral part of preventive dental health care. Many dentists suggest that it is necessary to have one every 6 months but our dentist, Dr. Mikael Kahn, recommends having a dental check-up once a year, provided that you maintain good oral hygiene, meaning that you brush and floss daily. In many cases the dental examination is combined with scaling & polishing (dental cleaning).
During the dental examination Dr. Kahn will take digital x-rays, especially if it is the first time he sees a patient. Normally, two x-rays are taken on each side. If on the other hand it is an adult patient who comes regularly, x-rays might be taken every second or even every third year, depending on the oral health of the patient. Dental x-rays are necessary to see the bone level and to be able to see whether there is any tooth decay (caries) between the teeth further back in the mouth. In the front region, a dentist can normally find caries between teeth without any dental x-rays.
Dr. Mikael Kahn will check your occlusion (how the upper & lower teeth fit together when you close your mouth), your TMJ (the joint which sits immediately in front of your ear) for stability or any clicking sounds and check your mouth as a whole for any abnormalities.
If you have questions about your oral health, your examination is a good time to ask. Many patients use that time to ask about cosmetic procedures – they want new crowns or a bridge, or they might want dental implants, and therefore, want to know whether they are a good candidate for implant treatment. This is also a good time to share with Dr. Kahn if you are anxious about dental treatment as a whole or any specific part of dental treatment, so adjustments can be made appropriately.
Even if you are partially edentulous, or no longer have teeth, it is still important to have a consultation with your dentist to maintain good oral health and have your prosthesis assessed to see that they still fit well, in order to preserve the bone for as long as possible.
Once Dr. Kahn has assessed your oral health, he will discuss it with you and let you know if you have any caries (tooth decay), gingivitis or gum disease (bone loss) or any other oral health issue, and give you suggestions for what needs to be done. If you are at risk then you may need more frequent check-ups, otherwise, he will see you in a year.