A periodic oral evaluation should be regularly performed (1-2 times a year) in order to determine if anything has changed with your oral health since your last regular visit and to serve as a benchmark of your overall health.
During a dental examination, the dentist will perform a visual examination, and possibly take x-rays in order to detect:
• New cavities • Weaknesses in existing crowns, fillings and bridgework • Gum disease or bone recession • Teeth deterioration due to abnormal bite, bruxism or TMJ
Your dentist may also perform a visual and digital examination of lymph nodes throughout the face and neck looking for any abnormalities, pain, or flexibility within the nodes that could be markers for systemic diseases.
Likewise, a similar examination of your lips, gums, tongue and other internal mouth surfaces will be conducted, again looking for any signs of oral cancer or systemic diseases.
A periodic oral evaluation is a valuable part of your preventative health maintenance plan, and the dentist is your ally in keeping an eye out for dental disease or other illnesses you may not be aware of.