A Dental Exam Can Help You Maintain Optimal Oral Health
A routine dental exam can minimize your risk of developing conditions such as gum disease, tooth loss, and even oral cancer. Our oral health examinations at North Meridian Dental Excellence in Indianapolis, IN, are thorough and comprehensive. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht places great importance on preventive dentistry and providing patients with the highest level of care and comfort. Visiting the dentist every six months can keep tooth decay at bay and help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.
What are the Dangers of Avoiding the Dentist?
Visiting the dentist is probably not at the top of your long list of things to do each year, much less every six months. We understand that busy schedules, lack of insurance, and simply just forgetting can keep you from maintaining a routine dental appointment. Unfortunately, not visiting the dentist can place you at high risk for developing a variety of oral and physical health issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you practice diligent oral hygiene, at-home care cannot completely eliminate plaque buildup along your gum line and in between your teeth.
Putting off exams can place you at a higher risk for developing a variety of issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Once gum disease develops, it is difficult to reverse the effects. Unaddressed decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss, costly restorative procedures, dental pain, and even increase your risk of developing more serious health conditions. According to the American Dental Association, poor oral health and gum disease have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
What to Expect During Your Visit
During your examination, Dr. Ahlbrecht and one of his hygienists will perform a series of tests to evaluate the health of your mouth, including:
We will carefully check each tooth with a small mirror and dental instrument, evaluating any existing restorations and your enamel strength. Oftentimes, as the hygienist is cleaning and checking your teeth, she can easily identify problem areas that may need treatment for a cavity or could benefit from fluoride or dental sealants.
X-rays will be taken of your teeth and jawbone using state-of-the-art digital technology, which allows us to immediately upload images to a chairside computer. Dr. Ahlbrecht can closely examine these high-resolution images, detecting cavities and fractures at their earliest stages. These images also allow us to make you an active, informed participant in your care, and provide a point of reference for Dr. Ahlbrecht to use when comparing future x-rays.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over half of American adults have some form of gum disease. During the examination, we will check for signs, such as redness, bleeding, swelling, and pockets of infection. When gum disease is detected, the doctor generally recommends a deeper cleaning that will involve scaling and root planing.
Oral Cancer Screening
Because oral cancer is virtually undetectable to the untrained eye in its earliest stages, it is important to visit the dentist for a routine oral cancer screening. Dr. Ahlbrecht will look for signs of abnormal tissue within the mouth. In addition to a visual screening, he will also examine your head and neck, carefully palpating beneath your chin and jaw to identify any lumps or abnormalities. Caught early, the disease generally has a good prognosis.
Benefits of Dental Exams
After the examination is complete, your hygienist will provide a professional cleaning to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup. If necessary, Dr. Ahlbrecht will place a dental filling, provide periodontal treatment, or discuss other necessary restorative treatments. Visiting the dentist biannually provides many benefits, including:
- Improves your long-term oral and physical health
- Minimizes risk of tooth decay and gum disease
- Catches oral health issues when they are more manageable
- Reduces your risk of tooth loss and oral cancer
- Prevents need for costly restorative treatments
Schedule Your Exam
If you or a member of your family are due for a check-up, we invite you to schedule a dental exam with Dr. Ahlbrecht today. You can reach our office online or by calling (317) 571-5000.
"North Meridian Dental Excellence is great! They've somehow cracked the code on making a trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience. Dr. Ahlbrecht and his team are all great to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly, nice and fun, while maintaining a professional, clean and private environment."Nick E.