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Michelle Hedgecock, DDS
Your Austin, TX Dentist

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Dental Exam

Smiling woman in dental chair looking up at dental assistantDental exams are an important piece of preventative dentistry. Because a majority of dental problems are preventable and are best treated early, visiting a dentist regularly helps ensure the early detection of these oral problems. Our dentist will conduct evaluations and get x-rays to examine your mouth, gums, teeth, and jawbone. That way, our dentist at Michelle Hedgecock, DDS can intervene early when oral problems are less damaging to the teeth and gums and are earlier to manage and treat.

What to Expect During a Dental Examination

A dental exam is often combined with the professional teeth cleaning visit that the dentist schedules for you. During the dental exam, the dentist screens for tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and oral cancer. The dentist also asks about any medical conditions you may have. The dentist may want to discuss certain things like lifestyle aspects that may affect your dental health.

Additionally, dental x-rays are obtained to evaluate parts that are not visible to the eye of the dentist. Things like periodontal disease, bone loss, tooth decay, and other oral issues may be present but don’t show any signs or symptoms like discoloration or pain. X-rays are useful in examining these kinds of dental issues.

How Long Does a Dental Exam Take?

You need about 45 to 60 minutes to have a dental exam and teeth cleaning appointment completed. When it comes to kids, exams and cleanings are much shorter. The dental health of a patient, their age, and the frequency of dental exams may also affect the length of the appointment.

How Often Fo You Need Dental Exams?

If you have healthy gums and teeth, we encourage you to book your dental hygiene visit based on your needs. Our dentist and hygienist will ensure you know when your next dental cleaning will be. As for the exam part that is performed by our dentist, you typically need to make one appointment. Sometimes, you may have more than one appointment for exams depending on your needs. For example, if you have dental health problems occurring continuously, we may suggest that you have more frequent oral care appointments. People who had underlying gum disease in the past may respond better to oral care if they see our dental team every three to four months for teeth cleanings.

Our dental team performs different kinds of dental exams based on the oral issues at hand. Comprehensive exams are often conducted during the initial checkups and repeated at least every several years. These exams consist of x-rays, gum disease evaluation, oral cancer screening, TMJ exam, and thorough examination of each of the teeth.

Regular dental exams, on the other hand, are done during your routine hygiene visits. These are also known as recall exams and they are done every six months or more often depending on your situation. A limited exam is done to evaluate a specific problem associated with your teeth, for example, a severe toothache, a broken tooth, or a sudden tooth loss.

Visit our dental specialists at Michelle Hedgecock, DDS to learn more about dental exams and when you should get them. Call us today at (512) 617-3361 to schedule a consultation appointment.
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Michelle Hedgecock DDS, 1008 Mopac Circle, Suite #100, Austin, TX 78746, (512) 617-3361,, 11/29/2022, Page Keywords: dentist Austin,