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What a Family Dentist Looks for During a Dental Exam

A good dentist can help you keep your teeth healthy and get rid of problems before they become worse. Here's what a typical dental exam involves:

Examining your teeth and gums

During your visit, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums to ensure they are in good condition. The dentist may look for signs of periodontal disease or tooth decay by inspecting the soft tissue around each tooth with an instrument called an explorer to determine whether there is any tartar buildup or gingivitis present on any of your teeth. The time required for a complete dental exam varies from patient to patient but usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour, depending on how many teeth need cleaning (if any). Family dentists prefer for all their patients to see them twice per year.

The dentist will also look for signs of cavities and other dental problems

Cavities are the most common dental problem. They can occur when bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Cavities form a hole that runs deep into the tooth, which is why they can be painful to touch or sensitive to hot or cold food and drinks. Other signs of dental problems include bleeding gums, pain during chewing or brushing, and bad breath.

A dentist will usually take X-rays during a checkup to look at the health of your teeth below the surface

An x-ray is a painless way to get a closer look at the structure of your teeth. X-rays can detect cavities, bone loss, and other invisible dental problems to the naked eye. X-rays use radiation to take pictures of the inside parts of your body and can be used to diagnose tooth decay, gum disease, jawbone loss, or other dental problems. Remember that while they help detect these conditions before they become serious issues, X-rays aren't foolproof. They won't always show every problem with your mouth, so you must visit a family dentistry professional regularly for checkups if you want to stay healthy!

Find a dentist you feel comfortable with

It's important to find a dentist you feel comfortable with. Your family dentist should be someone who listens to your concerns and explains things clearly. They should also be friendly and approachable so that both parents and children feel they can easily talk about any problems they may be having with their teeth or mouth.

Dental care helps with problems down the road

Good dental care can be cost-effective and help you avoid serious health problems later. In addition to regular checkups with our dentist, we recommend the following steps to keep your family's teeth healthy:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Have regular dental checkups when possible

Knowing what to expect is the best way to get the most out of your family dentist's visit. It also helps if you're familiar with what tests will be conducted during the dental exam, so there are no surprises when it comes time for treatment!

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Never been happier with a dentist before! The professionalism, individual care, sparkling clean office, and the range of services are amazing. Highly recommended! 

-Dave K., From a Yelp Review
Merrick, NY