Your first dental exam- the steps

Dentist with a Patient As you go to your first exam appointment, you can always ask questions and you can also let the dentist know of any problems that you have had in the past. Always make sure to ask about how long the appointment may take and the cost will be.

Medical History Questionnaire
Once you’ve sat down with the dentist, you will have to run through a quick questionnaire and fill out details about your medical history. Make sure you give them correct and complete details of any medication that you are taking and other major operations or illnesses that you may have had. Although such details might seem petty or even annoying to you, they can have a huge impact on the medication that the dentist may want to prescribe.

Visual Check
The dentist will go about this check with a small mirror. He will shine a light into your mouth to look at the areas farthest from your lips. He will also have a look at your gums and your teeth to check for any problems such as gum disease or any other others which you may not have realized.

Dental Charting
Just to keep a note of what they have looked at, the dentist will count around the teeth and take note of any fillings which you may have and others which might be missing or even tiny holes in teeth or areas which have to be taken care of.

X-Rays
This is one of the most important parts of any dental examination. X-Rays can help diagnose problems which exist around the foundation of the teeth or under the surface. To hold the film in the mouth, the dentist will ask you to gently close the teeth together onto a plastic holder or small paper tab while the film is in the mouth. On the other hand, the dentist may want to take a picture of your entire set of teeth at once. For this they will ask you to stand or sit while the machine slowly rotates around the head without touching you.

Periodontal Probing
As a vital part of the routine check, the dentist will also want to have a look at your gums. The dentist will use a small probe to run around the necks of the teeth whether they come in contact with the gums. This will help the dentist find out about areas where there may be gum disease. In case you have any tartar build up and thereby inflamed gums, the dentist will note this..

Other Areas
The dentist will also want to take a look around the skin of your mouth. Although there will not be any probing, a visual check will be enough to give the dentist and idea of the general health of your mouth.

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