What does a comprehensive dental exam involve?

Dental radiographs, X-rays of your teeth

Dental radiographs allow examination of the bone structure of the jaw and the roots of the teeth. They can reveal dental decay and gum disease that is not visible to the naked eye. This provides an in depth look of additional information regarding underlying problems with the teeth.

Tooth by tooth exam

Each tooth is checked in detail for fractures and damage, but also for chips and looseness—Dr. Vartanian checks the condition of existing fillings and existing restorations in great detail.

Bite evaluation

Testing your bite can reveal sources of pain in the teeth and gums. Discomfort when biting down may indicate a tooth fracture, gum disease or other conditions. Evaluating the bite can also help identify subtle misalignment of the teeth and jaw.

Oral Cancer screening

A comprehensive dental exam checks for oral cancer as well in the gingiva, tongue and cheeks.  Early cancer detection is essential to treatment. The longer cancer goes undetected, the more involved and more difficult it becomes to treat. Oral cancer screening is a potentially life-saving element of a comprehensive dental exam.

Periodontal exam

A periodontal exam, or ‘perio charting’, is done by placing an instrument called a periodontal probe around the teeth and measuring the depth to which it goes down into the gums. Receding or bleeding gums are an indicator of poor periodontal health. The space between the gum and tooth is measured to determine the health of your gum. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and may contribute to other non dental health conditions. Treating gum disease early can save you a great deal of trouble by preventing issues before they set in and cause permanent damage. 

How often should I get a comprehensive exam?

Everyone should have at least one comprehensive exam a year, but those with more sensitive and extensively restored teeth or gums should plan on more frequent visits. Dr. Vartanian will determine how frequent your hygiene visits and exams should be by assessing the involvement of your dental restorations and gum tissue.

What if it’s been a long time since my last dental visit?

It’s okay if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while. Dr. Vartanian and his staff recognize that dental visits can be intimidating, especially when not done regularly. At the Newport Institute for Dentistry, we strive to make every aspect of your visit as pleasant as possible.

Dr. Vartanian will listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have during your visit. Dr. Vartanian will clearly explain any treatment that needs to be done on your gums or teeth, taking time to ensure that you are confident and knowledgeable about each procedure.

Patients typically feel relieved and assured when they address their dental problems. Additionally, good overall dental health is closely tied to good general health, so taking care of your teeth and gums is as important as taking care of any other part of your body.

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