Dental Exam Overview
When it comes to your health, it's good to be proactive with dental problems by getting diagnosed and treated before they become larger issues. This is why it's important to schedule an annual dental exam for you and your family. While teeth are superficially examined during a cleaning, an exam provides a much more in-depth analysis. Dental exams at Contemporary Dentistry evaluate your general health and oral hygiene, including tooth decay, root decay, cancer, and gum/bone disease risk. Dentist Dr. Kathy Jacobsen assesses the need for treatments or dental restorations while also check the bite and jaw for problems. A series of x-rays will also be taken to get better insight into the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If you live in or near Gilbert, AZ, schedule an annual dental examination for yourself and your family at our office.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer includes any abnormal growth of cells in the mouth, including the jawbone, gums, lips, throat, tongue, and salivary glands. Every dental exam at Contemporary Dentistry includes an oral cancer screening to look for early signs including sores, inflammation, lumps, and lesions. Dr. Jacobsen will also palpate the throat and jaw for abnormalities. If any areas of concern are found, a biopsy may be performed or you will be referred to a specialist for further care.
Best Candidates for Dental Exam
Gilbert, AZ patients of all age should get an annual dental exam. Often, people are lulled into a sense of complacency when they don’t feel any pain in their teeth or gums. Many common problems like gum disease (the biggest cause of tooth loss) don’t have symptoms you can notice. The earlier problems are caught, the better your chances will be for a successful treatment with less invasive options.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children go to the dentist before their first birthday. This can help with issues like teething, baby bottle tooth decay, and the use of pacifiers. The team at Contemporary Dentistry can help you understand how to care and clean your baby's mouth so they start healthy habits early — this will also help them throughout their life. Dental exams are also important for children as they get older as their mouth develops. While baby teeth will fall out eventually, Dr. Jacobsen can watch for any development issues in the gums and jaw.
What To Expect from Dental Exams
Your examination will start with an overall evaluation of your tongue, teeth, gums, roof of your mouth, inside your cheeks, throat, and other oral checkpoints. This includes looking for signs of oral cancer throughout your mouth. Dr. Jacobsen or a member of her team will take x-rays and screen for abnormal tissue in the gums. Dr. Jacobsen will evaluate your head, neck, and jaw, including your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and bite while talking about anything found and how to best treat it. Dr. Jacobsen will discuss any health problems you have, medications you may be taking, and how they might impact your oral health by causing dry mouth and tooth decay. Finally, she will examine any prosthetics you have, like dentures or bridges, to check the fit and wear.
Follow-Up for Dental Exams
The follow-up period of an exam will depend on your oral health. If Dr. Jacobsen does not identify any issues, then the only follow-up would be to continue a regimen of dental health including brushing and flossing twice a day, along with annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at our office. If Dr. Jacobsen does see something that needs to be addressed, options will be discussed and scheduled.
Insurance Coverage for Dental Exams
Since a dental exam is critical to your oral health, it is typically covered by dental insurance. Our office will work with your dental insurance company to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs. If you do not have dental insurance, Contemporary Dentistry accepts many payment options, including medical financing. Our office also provides a monthly membership program, Smiles Club, that can help make exams more affordable. Dr. Jacobsen is happy to work with you to make sure you can afford good oral health.
Plan Your Procedure
Annual Dental Exams
Having a healthy mouth means you don't just go to the dentist only when something goes wrong. Preventative care is vital. It can save your teeth, as well as a significant amount of money. We recommend seeing Dr. Kathy Jacobsen at Contemporary Dentistry every year for a dental examination. Doing so will enable you to stay on top of issues by catching and treating them early. We do our best to make dental exams a positive experience for you and your family so staying healthy is easier. Contact our office in Gilbert, AZ to make your appointment.