Dental Exam in Houston, TX

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What Is a Dental Exam?

The key to enjoying a healthy lifestyle often begins with your smile. Oral health plays a significant role, not only in your ability to eat and speak comfortably but also in your overall health and general wellness. By staying current with your annual dental exams, you can take a proactive approach toward keeping your smile healthy and simply fantastic. A dental exam gives our experienced team of dentists a chance to identify and treat dental issues as early as possible and help prevent the need for more extensive care. Comprehensive dental exams at Made Ya Smile Dental are extremely thorough and screen for oral cancer, gum (periodontal) disease, tooth decay, TMJ problems, and any additional concerns that may affect your health and smile. Your jaw joints, bite (how upper and lower teeth fit together), and jawbone health will also be given a special evaluation.

During a dental exam, our team offers our undivided attention and listens closely to your concerns to better understand your unique dental health. We take a minimally invasive approach to diagnostic care using low-radiation digital x-rays and intraoral photos to check for areas of concern that are not visually apparent when we clinically examine your teeth and gums. We want you to have access to the best possible care and invite you and your family members to schedule dental examinations at Made Ya Smile Dental in Houston, TX.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects over 50,000 people each year. At Made Ya Smile Dental, our caring dentists and team are highly trained to identify symptoms of oral cancer and screen for this condition regularly at annual dental visits. When performing an oral cancer exam, we look for any areas in your mouth that appear suspicious or abnormal and that might indicate precancerous or cancerous concerns. Our dentists check the tongue, the floor of the mouth, throat area, lips, cheeks, and hard and soft palates and palpate salivary glands and the soft tissues the face and neck. If we find any unusual raised or irregular areas, lesions, white or red patches, or lumps, nodules, or sores, we may biopsy the area of concern or partner with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine if further treatment is needed.

What Are the Benefits of A Dental Exam?

Regular dental examinations performed at Made Ya Smile offer several advantages to Houston area individuals. Dental exams can benefit your oral health in multiple ways, including:

  • Breath-freshening effects
  • Early detection of oral health conditions
  • Customized dental suggestions
  • Chance to carry out x-rays or additional diagnostic tests
  • Early care and maintenance
  • Lengthening the well-being of your smile
  • Enhanced dental hygiene
  • Instruction about proper brushing and flossing practices
  • Less likelihood of tooth loss

Who Should Have a Dental Exam?

All patients, regardless of age, should have a thorough dental exam at least once a year. In most cases, dental exams are provided during the same visit as one of your bi-annual dental cleanings. Our dentists follow the American Dental Association’s (ADA) recommendation that kids have their initial dental visit by the time they turn a year old. During your child’s exam, we can offer information on the use of pacifiers, thumb-sucking habits, and baby bottle tooth decay and show you the best method for keeping your little one’s teeth and gums healthy as their jaw develops. We love treating children and enjoy helping parents give them a healthy start to their smiles.

During your exam, we will screen for common dental issues, like tooth decay, gum disease, bite issues, and loose or damaged restorations. Some dental concerns may be affecting your smile but not necessarily presenting any uncomfortable symptoms. This is often the case with gum disease, which typically does not cause pain. Regular dental exams can enable our team to diagnose and treat problems early on, often reducing the need for more complex care and allowing you to experience optimal oral health and a comfortable smile.

What Does a Dental Exam Include?

Each comprehensive dental exam begins with a review of your medical history, dental concerns, changes in your health, and any supplements or medications that you take. Our dentists will check the function of your jaw joints (TMJ), evaluate your bite, and perform an oral cancer exam. We will then examine each individual tooth for damage and decay and check for any loose crowns, fillings, bridges, implants, or other restorations you have received. A gum disease screening will also be performed by one of our dentists or dental hygienists to identify any areas that are showing signs of periodontal infection.

At Made Ya Smile Dental, we take digital checkup x-rays on a yearly basis and will review these images carefully to determine the health of your jawbone that supports your teeth. X-rays are used in conjunction with your gum disease screening results to diagnose periodontal disease and can also show cysts or abscesses within the bone. X-rays are also useful for seeing hidden areas of decay that we cannot visualize when looking in your mouth, such as underneath fillings or between teeth. Rest assured, we only take x-rays when necessary and use low-radiation digital methods to improve your safety and minimize your overall exposure. An intraoral camera may also be used to take images of hard-to-see areas in your mouth to give you a better understanding of your treatment needs.

Upon completion of your annual dental exam, we will present our findings to you and review any treatment recommendations necessary to help keep your dental health and smile in top shape.

After Your Dental Check Up

Most patients receive their annual dental exams during one of their bi-annual cleaning visits. In some cases, however, our dentists may recommend exams or dental cleanings on a more frequent schedule to meet individual oral health needs. Maintaining your teeth and gums with daily brushing and flossing techniques between your visits at our practice is very important to the overall appearance and health of your smile. During your appointments with our team, we will customize oral hygiene instructions for you to use at home and point out any areas of concern that may need more attention. We want you to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile and offer the comprehensive care you need to achieve long-term oral health.

Are Dental Exams Covered by Insurance?

As preventive care services, annual dental exams are usually covered by dental insurance. Our team will contact your provider and review your list of benefits. If you have any out-of-pocket expenses or are not using dental insurance, we can discuss our flexible options for payment. Made Ya Smile Dental wants every member of your family to get the care needed for a comfortable smile. We accept most PPO plans along with third-party financing through CareCredit® to make getting the treatment you need affordable and convenient.

Dental Exam FAQ

How long will my dental exam take?
A dental exam typically takes 30 – 60 minutes, depending on the state of your oral health. If you have experienced significant changes to your oral health, it may take longer for your dentist to gather information and create a custom treatment plan.

Are dental exams painful?
Patients should not experience any significant discomfort during their dental exam or any possible dental x-rays. At Made Ya Smile, our dental team utilizes the latest techniques and technologies to ensure you remain comfortable during your appointment.

What should I do to prepare for a dental exam?
It is important to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing at least twice a day between your dental visits. Before arriving for your appointment, we recommend brushing your teeth and avoiding eating or drinking at least an hour before your dental exam. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to pose them to your dental team.

Maintain a Healthy Smile

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and comfortable on a regular basis can serve your smile both now and well into the future. Though you may not notice any symptoms of a dental problem, having your gums, teeth, and oral tissues examined each year can identify concerns early on and help save you time and money over the long-term. Receive the preventive care your family needs for lasting oral health in a warm and welcoming environment. Contact Made Ya Smile Dental in Houston, TX today to reserve comprehensive dental exams for your family.

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