What Happens at an Oral Exam?

Posted on: May 5, 2019

No matter what age you are, going to the dentist for an oral exam can be intimidating; however, having regular exams will not only improve the longevity of your teeth but also your overall health. It is important to have regular visits, even if you do not have your natural teeth anymore.

How often should you have an oral exam?

According to the American Dental Association, the recommended frequency of visits depends on your personal oral health and what the dentist believes is the best plan for treating you. Every time you visit your dentist, it is a preventative step for your good health and wellbeing.

What is the process like?

During your visit, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth while looking for evidence of gum disease or signs of cavities. They examine not only the inside your mouth but also your neck and face for abnormalities indicating the onset of other health issues. Depending on what is visible to them, your dentist or hygienist will also take dental X-rays as part of the preventative care. Below is a list of what a typical exam process is like, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene
  • Evaluate your risk of tooth decay, root decay and gum or bone disease
  • Evaluate your need for tooth restoration or tooth replacement
  • Check your bite and jaw for problems
  • Remove any stains or deposits on your teeth
  • Demonstrate proper cleaning techniques for your teeth or dentures
  • Assess your need for fluoride
  • Take dental X-rays or if necessary, do other diagnostic procedures

A routine part of an exam will include questions about your health history, medications you are currently taking and discussion about how these things might affect your oral health. According to WebMD, dry mouth will greatly increase your risk of tooth decay, so if you are on a medication that causes this symptom, make sure to tell your dentist, so they can help you take pre-emptive measures against tooth decay.

What are some common things to expect?

Everyone is different, so not every visit will have the same agenda. One common occurrence at the dentist office is a dental impression. These replicas will help your dentist or hygienist assess any issues with your bite, make you a set of bleaching trays or — if you have a grinding problem — make a mouth guard for you.


Your oral exam should be something to look forward to. Our goal is to make sure your oral health is at its best because you deserve the best. Do not put off your dental care until it is too late. Call our office today to schedule your next exam.

Request an appointment here or call Edward Zeva D.M.D. at 631-773-1094 for an appointment in our Babylon office.

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