Dental exams at our Chino, CA office can help you enjoy a healthy smile for many years. At Value Dental Centers Chino, we use the latest technology to check for cavities, gum disease, and other serious oral health concerns. When we diagnose these conditions in the early stages, we can provide simple, conservative treatment that will prevent further damage. Dental exams are vital for everyone, including seniors and children. Therefore, we encourage all of our patients to schedule dental exams and simultaneous cleanings at least twice a year.
Are Dental Exams Really Necessary?
Unfortunately, many people believe that regular exams are merely a suggested guideline, not a requirement for ongoing health. In reality, regular visits can prevent serious dental damage – and in some cases, they could even save your life. Often, dental decay will go undetected until you experience a serious toothache. Similarly, you may not receive a gum disease diagnosis until you have suffered significant damage and even tooth loss. At this point, your teeth may be too damaged for repair. On the other hand, with regular exams, our dentists can detect such conditions, offering treatment that will prevent pain and save your teeth.
In addition, at each exam, we will conduct an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer can often be fatal, but this is because patients frequently do not receive a timely diagnosis. With regular exams, our dentists can detect the disease in time for you to seek vital treatment.
What Will Happen at My Dental Exam?
After your routine cleaning, your dentist will conduct a visual exam. He or she will look for dental damage, as well as gum inflammation and sores. For the most accurate diagnostics possible, we will use our laser cavity detection to measure the fluorescence in your teeth. If you have a high level of fluorescence, this will typically indicate a cavity. When we catch cavities in the early stages, we can usually treat them with simple fillings.
In addition to laser cavity detection, your dentist will also use lasers to check for oral cancer. Elevated levels of fluorescence can indicate the presence of cancer, long before any lesions appear. If your dentist suspects that you may have cancer, he or she will usually order a biopsy.
In most cases, your dentist will take x-rays at every other visit. Intraoral x-rays will show pictures of individual teeth. In this way, the images can reveal cavities, hairline cracks, and other hidden damage. We can also take extraoral x-rays to examine your entire jaw. These pictures can help us diagnose dental misalignment, impacted teeth, and similar problems.
At Value Dental Centers Chino, we proudly offer oral DNA tests. By evaluating a small sample of your saliva, our partner lab can determine your genetic risk for gum disease. Typically, we will only need to perform this test once. If we establish that you are a high risk patient, we can provide proactive treatment to prevent periodontitis from developing.
How Often Should I Schedule an Exam?
You should schedule an exam and cleaning at least twice a year. In some cases, more frequent appointments may be appropriate. For example, if you have reoccurring decay, or if you are at a high risk for gum disease, you might schedule three to four visits a year. Additional appointments are also wise if you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease or oral cancer.