Who needs them? -The American Dental Association recommends dental checkups twice a year for people of all ages.
What is your exam? – Dr. Ashley Covington performs a visual examination of your mouth, looking not just for cracked and decayed teeth, but also for growths and sores on the tongue, palate, and mucous membrane which lines the cheeks and covers the gums. Some dentists will also use tiny video cameras placed inside the mouth to project images on color monitors.
Dental X rays are still necessary to detect hidden problems, particularly below the gums. Only your dentist can decide when they are needed. Your dentist may also use a pointed probe to measure the depth of your gum pockets. This quick exam can help determine whether you’re beginning to show any signs of gum disease.
What do the results mean? – If Dr. Covington finds cavities, cracked teeth, or broken fillings, she will determine the best option for repair (filling, crown, implant, root canal, extraction). Dr. Covington will recommend careful flossing and regular use of an antiseptic mouthwash and may refer you to a periodontist or oral surgeon if you have severe or rapidly advancing gum disease.