Oral Exams & X-rays
Oral examinations done on a routine basis are essential for the maintenance of good oral hygiene and a beautiful healthy smile! It saves you the money that you need to spend on costly dental procedures for treatment of any dental ailment. That is why we advise our patients at Dover Delaware to come for a routine oral check-up at least twice in a year.
What is an oral examination?
This is a procedure in which your mouth is reviewed by your dentist. During the examination, the condition of your teeth and gums is observed and evaluated areas like the inner cheeks, the palate, the tongue, the underside of the tongue and the floor of the mouth also are checked. If there are any fillings already in the mouth, their existing condition is also evaluated. This is done to check if the fillings need replacement or not. Apart from that if the patient comes up with a particular complaint like pain or swelling in a particular tooth or area, that zone is checked in detail.
What are the types of oral examination?
Even though oral examination may sound like a single topic, it can be subdivided into various types which are-
a. Comprehensive oral examination- This is the type of oral examination that is carried out for a new patients. It is extensive in nature as there are no previous records of the client with the dentist. Each and every detail is examined and recorded.
b. Regular oral examination- This is done on a routine basis which is once in 6 months ideally. This time the dentist has the basic information already and just need to modify or update it with any new findings.
c. Limited/problem-focused examination- This is for a regular patient who has come up with a new problem. We conduct problem-focused examination for new patients as well if they have rushed to us in an emergency. During this examination special focus is given to the area that has been shown to have pain, swelling or any other discomfort.
d. Follow-up- During this type of examination, the dentist checks if the pre-existing dental problem has resolved after dental treatment procedure was performed in the previous visit. The dentist evaluates the extent to which the healing process has taken place.
As a part of oral examination, your dentist may ask you to take a couple of Xrays in some of the cases.
What are X-Rays?
X-rays or radiographs act as an adjunct to oral examination and aid in the diagnosis of any dental ailment. The radiographs are pictures of your teeth that are collected after X-rays are passed through your teeth. The X-rays help to check the hard tissue like bone or teeth and the condition of soft tissues like gums cannot be assessed through X-rays.
What are the different types of X-rays?
Intra- oral X-rays- When the x-ray film is placed within the patient’s mouth, and then the radio graph is recorded it is called as an intra-oral Xray. Under this category come IOPAs and Bitewings. IOPAs or intra-oral periapical X-rays is taken to evaluate the area that is around the root tip. Hence IOPAs are essential to confirm the diagnosis of presence of a cyst or abscess in and around the apex of the root. In case of dental decay present on the tooth surface that falls at the contact point with the other tooth, bitewing is recommended for confirmative diagnosis.
Full mouth series –Also known as FMX, Full mouth series is a complete set of intraoral x-rays taken of patient’s teeth during initial visit. The full mouth x-rays are composed of 18 films taken the same day.
Bitewing X-Rays- Usually, we take bitewing x-rays once every year. The bitewing x-rays are taken to see the crowns of the posterior teeth and the height of the alveolar bone. Bitewing x-ray also allows our dentist to see any bone loss, decay or gum disease, or possible infection.
Periapical X-Rays- This type of x-rays show the entire tooth. The difference from bitewings is that in a periapical X-ray, the whole tooth is shown
Extra-oral X-rays- When the x-ray film is placed outside the patient’s mouth, and then the radio graph is recorded it is called as an extra-oral X-ray. An example for an extra-oral radiograph is an OPG or orthopantomography or Panoramic x-rays. This x-ray contains the images of all our teeth including our jawbones. This kind of an X-ray is required in cases where the dentist wants to find out the position of any teeth that are buried within the bone or the gums. It is also useful in orthodontic treatment as the skeletal details can be procured through OPG and lateral cephalogram (another extra-oral X-ray that images the bony details of the side profile of an individual’s face )
All the X-rays recorded are filed properly and the details collected are fed to the patient database. This makes reference easy in the future. One copy is given to the patient as well.
We make every possible effort to make your visit at Dover Delaware a successful one in terms of your oral health. To earn your satisfaction with our service is our first priority!