Dental Exam in Houston, TX

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What Is a Dental Exam?

Getting the care you need to enjoy a healthy smile starts with a comprehensive dental examination. Keeping up with annual exams can help identify any concerns as early as possible and ensure that your oral function and smile are well cared for. When performing a dental exam, our general dentist comprehensively evaluates all aspects of your oral health, including your teeth, gums, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), dental restorations, and jawbone. Crowns, fillings, bridges, implants, and any other dental restorations you have will be thoroughly examined to make certain they are still serving your smile in the best possible way. We will assess your bite (how the lower and upper teeth fit together), check for bone loss and gum (periodontal) disease, and screen for tooth decay. An oral cancer exam is also part of a comprehensive dental exam. By diagnosing and treating any dental problems early on, we may be able to prevent the need for more extensive dental care in the future.

We are very thorough when performing a dental exam. Our team uses the latest in digital technology to take x-rays and 3D oral images of your teeth and jaw, and areas we cannot clinically visualize, which provides us with detailed information of your oral health and greater diagnostic ability. Intraoral photos may also be taken to help you see various areas of your mouth and better understand any treatment needs. Healthy gums, teeth, and bone can support your ability to speak and eat with improved comfort. Annual dental exams give our team the chance to offer personalized, accurate dental treatments tailored to meet your unique concerns and help you maintain a healthy, happy smile. To partner with a dentist dedicated to providing the highest quality of care, get in touch with Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 in Houston, TX today.

Oral Cancer Screening

Screening for oral cancer is extremely important to your oral and general health. During each of your dental exams, our highly trained team will check your oral tissues for any indication of abnormalities or oral cancer using advanced technology and visual evaluation techniques. However, we also recommend that you perform self-oral cancer screenings on a periodic basis at home. Over 50,000 Americans are affected each year by oral cancer. We seek to identify signs and symptoms of this potentially life-threatening disease as early as possible and may biopsy any suspicious lesion or partner with an oral maxillofacial surgeon for appropriate treatment.

Since oral cancer may develop anywhere in the mouth, our team will examine your lips, cheeks, tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft and hard palates, and throat area. We will also palpate your salivary glands and lymph nodes under your chin and in your neck. If you notice any abnormal lesions or areas of your mouth that have changed, please let our Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 team know right away. Common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Lumps, nodules, or raised areas
  • Red or white patches
  • Rough or corrugated tissues
  • Discoloration of tissue
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Sores that bleed easily

Who Should Have a Dental Exam?

Patients in every stage of life can benefit from routine dental exams. We recommend that children visit the dentist for the first time by the time they turn a year old, as suggested by the American Dental Association (ADA). Dental exams give us a chance to evaluate your oral health for tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ disorders, bite problems, and any loose or damaged fillings or other restorations. Using low-radiation dental x-rays, Our team will also assess the amount of bone supporting your teeth and determine if impacted teeth, cysts, decay between teeth or under fillings, or any other hidden dental issues may be affecting your smile.

To bring the highest quality of care to your family's smiles, our team performs dental exams at a minimum of once each year and usually when you visit our Houston, TX family practice for your routine dental cleanings. If you experience any dental issues or concerns between your visits, however, get in touch with our team right away. It is important to have regular dental exams even when you are not having any discomfort or other symptoms in your mouth. Some oral issues do not always present with obvious signs and may go undetected without a proper dental examination. During your family's exams, we will strive to diagnose any concerns as early as possible and offer tips on how to keep your family's smiles healthy and lasting. Information on your child's oral health, such as developmental stages, tooth eruption, baby bottle tooth decay, and thumb-sucking and pacifier use, will also be provided when your visit with our team. Our goal is to be your partner in long-term oral health and provide the information you need to make the best possible decisions about your family's smiles.

What Does a Dental Exam Include?

As a patient of Made Ya Smile Dental West 8, you can always expect your dental exams to be thorough and personalized. We will begin your dental exam by going over your medical and dental histories and reviewing any medications or supplements that you take on a daily basis. Any changes that you have noticed in your smile or symptoms you are having will be discussed at this time. One of our dentists will use an explorer to carefully check each tooth and the margins of any dental restorations for decay. We will also evaluate the function of your TMJ (jaw joints) and examine how your upper and lower teeth fit together when you bite down. During your exam, our team will also screen for gum disease by measuring the spaces between your gum tissues and teeth.

Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 is committed to minimizing a patient's exposure and uses low-radiation digital x-rays as part of our diagnostic services. X-rays are only taken as needed to evaluate your oral health and are typically a part of your annual dental exam as these images allow us to check for bone loss, cysts, and abscesses. We also use dental x-rays to examine for decay that may have formed under dental restorations and in between your teeth, or in areas that we cannot see when looking into your mouth. We will also use your x-rays along with your gum measurements to determine if periodontal disease is affecting your smile. Intraoral cameras may be incorporated into your exam, which allows us to take a picture of areas in your mouth that are difficult to see. This gives you the opportunity to visualize what we see and have a greater understanding of your dental health. Once we have completed your dental exam, one of our expert dentists will present any findings and provide recommendations for treating any dental conditions and help you meet your smile objectives.

After Your Dental Check Up

At Made Ya Smile Dental West 8, our team customizes treatments to meet your needs and performs annual dental examinations during one of your biannual dental cleaning visits with our team. However, we may examine your mouth on a more frequent basis as needed to provide the highest quality of care for your smile. Our entire team is devoted to helping all patients attain better oral health and will give you suggestions on how to maintain your teeth and gums with proper brushing and flossing techniques. We personalize oral hygiene instructions for each patient to meet the unique treatment needs and goals and provide tips on caring for areas that may need a little more attention at home.

Are Dental Exams Covered by Insurance?

Comprehensive dental examinations are a preventive service and are typically covered by most dental insurance plans at least once a year. We will contact your provider to learn more about your specific plan and let you know if there will be any personal expenses. Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 accepts most major dental insurance plans and offers an in-house dental savings plan for Houston, TX patients who do not carry dental insurance. Talk to our friendly team today for more on our convenient payment options.

Dental Exam FAQ

How long will my dental exam take?
A dental checkup can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the condition of your oral health. If dental concerns are found or if you have had significant changes in your oral health, your dental exam could take longer while your dentist gathers information and creates a treatment plan.

Are dental exams painful?
Preventive dental care services, like dental and periodontal exams, should not cause you significant discomfort. We utilize the latest in dental techniques and technology to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during your time at our office.

What should I do to prepare for a dental exam?
It is important to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine between professional cleanings. Before you leave for your dental appointment, we recommend brushing your teeth and fasting for an hour before your appointment. If you have any questions or concerns, you can share them with our team during your appointment.

Maintain a Healthy Smile

Comprehensive dental exams from our skilled general dentist are an important aspect of maintaining a healthy and vibrant smile. Keeping up with regular dental exams can allow us to identify dental concerns, like cavities, gum disease, and TMJ problems, early on and minimize your family's need for costlier and more involved dental treatments down the road. Visiting Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 for routine dental exams, even when your mouth feels fine, can help to keep your smile in top shape over the years. Contact our Houston, TX team today to schedule your personalized dental exams for your family.

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