Preventive – Oral Examination
Oral exams, or dental examinations, are an important and necessary part of maintaining your oral health. At Super Smiles of Burlington, Massachusetts, Dr. Emilie Miller and her team of highly trained dental professionals will provide convenient, compassionate dental care near you. After your overall wellbeing and dental health, their primary concern is for your comfort and putting you at ease. After all, a relaxed smile is a happy smile, and a happy smile is a Super Smile.
What’s Involved in an Oral Examination?
After you’ve been x-rayed, you’ll be taken to the examination room where you’ll be made comfortable and introduced to Dr. Miller. Dr. Miller will first review your x-rays and talk to you about any questions or concerns you may have. Be sure to let her know if you have any symptoms, no matter how small they are, which could help her diagnose any potential issues. Super Smiles is a judgment-free zone and a safe space for you to discuss any issues you may be experiencing, and Dr. Miller is a great listener.
Next, she’ll start the oral examine and look at everything from your soft tissues (gums, tongue, cheeks, and soft pallet) to your teeth. The reason for examining all your soft tissues is to look for signs of oral cancer and other diseases. After she’s assessed your level of oral health she’ll make recommendations for your personalized oral health care plan. This may involve anything from scheduling cleanings, fillings, crowns, extractions, or other procedures in the future to changes to your diet or lifestyle to improve your oral health.
If time and scheduling permit, you’ll be introduced to one of our world class dental hygienists who will perform your routine cleaning. Once your teeth have been cleaned, you’ll be given a rinse and a mirror to see your freshly cleaned teeth.
Why Are Regular Oral Exams Important?
Getting regular oral exams are obviously important for your oral health, but they also help you maintain your overall health, as well. There are certain diseases which can show symptoms first in your mouth, like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. If Dr. Miller finds any evidence of issues like these, she’ll refer you to see your general physician as soon as possible. The best outcomes come from early diagnosis and treatment.
How Often Should You Have an Oral Exam?
Full oral exams are generally done annually, but Dr. Miller may have you come in more regularly for them depending on the level of personalized care you require. Cleanings should be done every six months to a year to remove plaque and stains. During these visits, your dental hygienist will also look for any signs of disease and infection, and if found they’ll have Dr. Miller perform a full oral exam at that time, if scheduling allows. If Dr. Miller is currently busy, you’ll be scheduled for a return visit so Dr. Miller can fully examine you.
You May Be at Higher Risk If…
You may need to come in for routine oral exams more often if you’re at a statistically higher risk of oral cancer due to your lifestyle or your family or medical history. If you use tobacco of any variety, including cigarettes, cigars, dip, chew, and pipe smoking, if you regularly drink alcohol, or if you have a personal or family history of cancer, you should receive oral exams more often.
Does My Insurance Cover Oral Exams?
Most dental insurance will cover routine dental maintenance like oral exams as a form of preventive medicine. Catching something early can prevent the need for more involved procedures later and end up costing you and them more money. Like Benjamin Franklin’s old saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine, and this applies to both oral and overall health.
How Long Does an Oral Exam Take?
If it’s your first time coming to Super Smiles for an oral exam, be sure to allow for two hours in your schedule for your first visit. This will ensure you and Dr. Miller will have plenty of time to talk and discuss any concerns you may have. Future visits for oral exams will likely only require an hour or less of your time but Dr. Miller and her staff will be able to let you know in advance of how much time you should set aside for your appointment.