What To Expect During a Dental Exam

dental exam Fort Lee, NJ

Catching issues with the teeth or gums early on is essential for mitigating the amount of damage sustained, which is why scheduling a regular dental exam is so important. From identifying signs of gum disease and tooth decay to discovering problematic abnormalities, dentists use the knowledge gleaned from regular examinations to develop any necessary treatment plans and provide individualized instruction on oral hygiene. The Cleveland Clinic recommends two dental visits a year for most people to undergo a thorough cleaning and evaluation of their teeth and help discover any problems before they develop into serious conditions.

What to expect at a dental exam

Most often, a dental appointment starts with professional teeth cleaning performed by the dental hygienist and is followed by an examination from the dentist. During the cleaning process, the hygienist will also inspect the patient’s mouth and let the dentist know if any issues are found. Depending on the patient’s age and risk level, an X-ray may be taken, which the dentist can use to identify issues that cannot be discovered by visual inspection of the mouth alone. During the exam, the dentist will use special tools, such as a periodontal probe, to examine each of the individual's teeth, gums, jaw and supporting bones. The dentist will also inquire about the patient’s medical history and ask questions concerning oral health habits.

Identifying dental Issues

During a dental exam, the practitioner makes a detailed inspection for signs of several common dental problems:

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Tooth infection
  • Oral abnormalities
  • Gum disease
  • Enamel degradation
  • Receding gum lines
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder

If there is a lot of plaque or tartar buildup on the teeth, or if the gums are inflamed, the dentist can provide helpful advice on developing better dental habits and preventing issues. Additionally, many dentists have started looking for signs of oral cancer due to the growing prevalence of the condition. This type of examination is especially important for patients who drink or smoke. Screening for oral cancers often involves searching for any bumps or discoloration in the jaw and soft tissues of the mouth.

Addressing dental issues

If any issues are found during the examination, the dentist will likely let the patient know during the appointment and determine if any further tests need to be done. Patients with a high risk of oral health problems may need to return for a follow-up appointment. Depending on what issues are found, the dentist may need to make a consultation appointment to discuss a treatment plan. Dentists can also use X-rays and inspections to discover issues with the teeth or jaw that need to be addressed with braces or surgery. While the dentist cannot address these issues, a referral to an orthodontist or oral surgeon can be made.


Making appointments twice a year for a dental exam allows patients to develop better oral hygiene habits and discover any issues that may be present. While it may be easy to neglect regularly visiting the dentist, this increases the risk of dental issues occurring.

Request an appointment here: https://fortleefamilydental.com or call Fort Lee Family Dental at (201) 620-9772 for an appointment in our Fort Lee office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Routine Dental Procedures Can Keep A Smile Healthy

We use routine dental procedures during our appointments to ensure that a patient maintains healthy teeth. You can keep oral hygiene habits at home but will need professional cleaning at least twice a year.Routine Dental ProceduresAt Fort Lee Family Dental in Fort Lee, we work to customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule…

You Are What You Eat: 10 Foods That Harm Or Help Your Oral Health

In August of 2016, the benefits of flossing were brought into question by people finding a lack of sound evidence on flossing having health benefits for one's teeth. Thus, kids and adults subjected to countless years of placing the minty thread between their teeth, stopped and scratched their heads. The truth of the matter is…

Your Oral Health Is Our Prime Interest

We offer effective general dentistry services in a calm atmosphere to help the patient relax while receiving the necessary dental care. Our goal is to treat the patient's teeth and overall oral health.General Dentistry ServicesAt Fort Lee Family Dental in Fort Lee, we work to customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule where…

Dental Cleaning: 5 Reasons For Regular Dental Visits

Everyone wants strong and healthy teeth, but not everybody wants to book dental appointments regularly. Studies have shown that aside from excellent oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings are vital for healthy and beautiful teeth. In this article, we will focus on five reasons to go for regular dental visits. Mouth…

Recent Posts

The Different Types Of Oral Surgery Procedures

The Different Types Of Oral Surgery Procedures

Looking for information on oral surgery? If you are currently in need of a simple surgical procedure in order to improve your dental health, then learning more about the different types of oral surgery procedures that dentists can perform is a great idea.Understanding more about oral surgery is a great idea, as there are different…

What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Considering a full mouth reconstruction? Many individuals find themselves needing to reconstruct or rebuild their oral cavity due to tooth loss, decay or unhealthy gums. What most do not realize is that one problem in the oral cavity can lead to many, thus resulting in a need for reconstruction. However, it can difficult to know…