Routine examination

Routine examination

In addition to taking into account your medical history, including your overall health, necessary precautions, medications, allergies and lifestyle (diet, smoking, alcohol), the dentist will perform an oral examination to check the following:

  • Condition of your teeth
  • Presence of caries
  • Condition of your gums
  • Presence of infection
  • Condition of your tongue
  • Soft tissue under the tongue
  • Palate and inside of the cheeks
  • Condition of your lips
  • Condition of your lymph glands
  • Adequate amount of saliva
  • Presence of bad breath
  • Occlusion (meeting of teeth when jaws are closed)
  • Ability to chew and open/close jaws
  • Condition of fillings (amalgam, composite, crown, etc.)
  • Condition of dentures
  • Condition of dental implants
  • X-rays

This thorough examination allows the dentist to make a diagnosis and propose the most appropriate treatment plan.

A regular check-up saves you money!

A regular dental examination will detect any problem at an early stage. Treatments will be offered to solve the problems before they become more serious. The dental examination is part of a preventive approach; it is therefore a great way to avoid expensive treatments.

What happens during a dental exam?

During the examination, the dentist will observe the inside of your mouth. He or she will assess your teeth, gums and soft tissues. The dentist will also check your tongue, the inside of your cheeks and your palate. The exam might also include dental x-rays. The information provided by the medical history and lifestyle questionnaire you filled in will also be taken into account.

Here are examples of problems that can be detected by the dentist during this appointment:

  • Tooth decay;
  • Cracked or chipped tooth;
  • Inflammation or other signs of gum disease;
  • Crown or filling in poor condition;
  • Lesions;
  • Cysts;
  • Signs of bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching);
  • Occlusal problems (bite problems);
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (the joint that connects your jaw to your skull);
  • Bone loss;
  • Impacted wisdom teeth.

DATA COLLECTION:

TAKING DIGITAL X-RAYS AND PICTURES

The goal of this visit is to gather information and to take impressions of your teeth for the diagnostic cast (if needed).

Using tridimensional images produced by our digital radiography device, it is possible to perform an assessment of your teeth, which will confirm the best treatment. These images are accessible much more quickly than with conventional impressions and allow our dentists to complete the analysis of your situation with better efficiency.

Photos are taken to check all aspects of your dentition and gums in detail. These are essential to confirm the treatment plan and to harmonize the smile with the rest of your facial features. Finally, during this appointment, you will discuss with the hygienist about the installation of the dental appliances and be offered different options of treatments.

 

3D VOLUMETRIC CT SCAN

(Cone beam computed tomography)

Function: Immediate and accurate diagnostic X-ray in three dimensions.

A 3D scan is necessary before taking any decisions regarding dental implants. It allows to assess the quality and quantity of the bone that will support dental implants. This also gives us the information necessary to choose the shape, dimension and position of the implant. Dental scanners have become an indispensable tool to get the best diagnosis.

It enables to view the bone structure available as well as the characteristics of your jaws.

The scan is an essential tool to diagnose apical lesions and to detect fractured roots. It can also be used to determine the morphology of the root, the number of roots as well as the root canals. It is therefore sometimes used for the extraction of wisdom teeth.

Connection with your hygienist

The relationship with your hygienist is important because you will spend the majority of your dental cleaning appointment with him or her. Before even starting the cleaning, your hygienist will take the time to talk with you in order to:

  • Create a relationship of trust;
  • Assess your stress level;
  • Learn about your predispositions (e.g.: fear, financial restrictions, previous traumatic experience, etc.);
  • Know your needs and goals (e.g.: to get functional prostheses, a more aesthetically pleasing mouth, etc.).

Many suffer from anxiety or fear when it comes to dental care. You can be confident, the hygienist will always listen to your needs and be reassuring.

Your dental hygienist will provide you with all the information about your situation and the recommended treatments and possible alternatives.

Your dental hygienist understands you

The hygienist knows you well and will often be able to act as a link between you and your dentist.

Here are two examples that illustrate this link:

  • During a dental cleaning appointment, a new patient tells the hygienist that he considers his dental health to be very important, but that his budget is limited. When the dentist proceeds to the examination, he discovers a very advanced tooth decay and two solutions are possible: a root canal treatment or tooth extraction. As root canal treatment has a significantly higher cost than the extraction, the patient will be inclined to choose the extraction. However, the hygienist understands that the decision of the patient is probably based on a temporary financial condition and may notify the dentist. The latter can then inform the patient that a root canal is done in several steps and that the installation of the crown can be slightly delayed so that the payment of the treatments could be spread over a longer period of time.  This will allow the patient to keep his tooth while respecting his financial condition.
  • The hygienist knows that her patient dreads anesthesia. The hygienist therefore notifies the dentist who may, when providing some treatments, prescribe a sedative to the patient before the anesthesia.

How often should I see the dentist?

Even if you keep a good dental hygiene, it is very important to go to the dentist on a regular basis for a check-up.

According to the « Ordre des dentistes du Québec », it is recommended to undergo a dental exam every 6 months. This frequency will be adjusted depending on your general health status and your dental condition as well as your dental hygiene habits.

What should your dentist know?

Since your last check-up, you may have noticed some changes on your teeth, gums or your overall health. Feel free to mention these details to your dentist, even if they do not appear in connection with your teeth.

Here are some examples of information that is important to point out to your dentist:

  • Changes in your mouth since the last visit:
    • Tooth discoloration;
    • Teeth that have changed position;
    • Sensitivity to cold, warm and sweet drinks or food;
    • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or floss;
    • A mouth sore that does not heal;
    • Discoloration of oral soft tissues;
    • Tension in the jaw or neck muscles.
  • Changes in your lifestyle or your overall health:
    • Taking new medication;
    • Disease (any new disease diagnosed since the last dental exam);
    • Allergies;
    • Tobacco smoking;
    • Pregnancy.

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