What You Can Expect During Our Complete Oral Exams

Happy family group photo in during winter

YOUR HOME ORAL HYGIENE ROUTINE is crucial to your oral health but so are your regular dental appointments. A complete oral exam with the dental team at Dental Partners of Boston helps keep your smile healthy and bright.

When You Visit Us, You Can Expect To Receive…


X-rays help us see your tooth and root positions and can detect decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss, helping us to determine any treatment that may be necessary. Dental X-rays are low-radiation, similar to or even lower than the background radiation that people are exposed to from natural sources in the environment.

An Oral Cancer Screening

We will thoroughly examine your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums to look for any signs of oral cancer. We do this because early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and a positive outcome for the patient. Oral cancer, like many other types of cancer, can be more effectively treated when detected in its early stages before it has had a chance to spread to other parts of the body.

Here are a few reasons why we conduct these comprehensive examinations:

  1. Early Detection: Oral cancer can develop in various areas of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, throat, and soft tissues. By conducting a thorough examination, we can identify any unusual growths, lesions, or abnormalities that may indicate the presence of cancer at an early stage when treatment is most effective.
  2. Risk Assessment: Our dentists evaluate factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, diet, sun exposure, and family history to assess a patient’s risk of developing oral cancer. Individuals with certain risk factors may require more frequent screenings to monitor for any changes or signs of oral cancer.
  3. Patient Education: During the examination, our dentists may educate their patients about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer and encourage them to perform self-examinations at home. This empowers our patients to recognize any abnormalities early and seek prompt medical attention if necessary.
  4. Preventive Care: In addition to screening for oral cancer, the comprehensive examination allows our dentists to assess overall oral health, including the condition of the teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. Detecting and addressing oral health issues early can help prevent complications and maintain optimal oral health.
  5. Comprehensive Care: At DPB, we take a holistic approach to oral health care, considering not only the condition of the teeth but also the health of the surrounding oral tissues and structures. A thorough examination allows our dentists to identify any abnormalities or concerns that may require further evaluation or treatment.

Regular oral cancer screenings as part of a comprehensive dental examination are essential for maintaining oral health and detecting potential health issues early. These screenings can contribute to early diagnosis, effective treatment, and improved outcomes for our patients with oral cancer.

A Gum Disease Evaluation

Our knowledgeable dental team will examine the gums and bones surrounding your teeth to check for any signs of periodontal disease.

Our dental team checks for gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, because it is a prevalent oral health condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. Here are several reasons why dentists routinely check for gum disease:

  1. Prevention and Early Detection: Gum disease often develops slowly and may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Regular dental check-ups allow our dentists to identify signs of gum disease, such as inflammation, bleeding gums, and gum recession, before it progresses to more advanced stages.
  2. Oral Health Maintenance: Healthy gums are essential for supporting the teeth and maintaining overall oral health. By monitoring the condition of the gums, our dentists can help their patients prevent gum disease and maintain healthy gum tissue through proper oral hygiene practices.
  3. Risk Assessment: DPB dentists assess factors that may increase their patient’s risk of developing gum disease, such as smoking, poor oral hygiene, certain medical conditions, and genetic predisposition. Understanding these risk factors allows us to provide personalized recommendations for preventing and managing gum disease.
  4. Treatment Planning: If gum disease is detected, we can develop a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs. Treatment options for gum disease may include professional dental cleanings, scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antimicrobial therapy, and in more severe cases, surgical intervention.
  5. Overall Health Connection: Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of various systemic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications. By addressing gum disease, we can help improve not only oral health but also overall health and well-being.
  6. Patient Education: Our dentists educate their patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. They may also provide guidance on lifestyle changes and behaviors that can help reduce the risk of gum disease.

Checking for gum disease is an integral part of routine dental examinations because it allows our dentists to prevent, detect, and effectively manage this common oral health condition, ultimately promoting optimal oral health and overall well-being for our patients.

An Examination of Your Restorations

We’ll make sure any fillings, crowns, or other restorations that you have are still in good condition. Our dental team checks dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, and other restorations for several important reasons:

  1. Assessment of Integrity: Dental restorations are placed to repair or replace damaged or decayed tooth structures. Over time, these restorations can wear down, become loose, or develop cracks, compromising their integrity. Our dentists inspect restorations during dental check-ups to ensure they are intact and functioning properly.
  2. Early Detection of Problems: Even well-placed dental restorations can develop issues over time, such as recurrent decay, leakage, or fracture. By examining restorations regularly, we can detect any signs of deterioration or damage early, allowing for prompt intervention to address the problem before it worsens.
  3. Prevention of Complications: If a dental restoration is compromised or failing, it can lead to complications such as decay, infection, or loss of tooth structure. By identifying and addressing problems with restorations early, our dentists can prevent these complications and preserve the health and integrity of the affected teeth.
  4. Long-Term Maintenance: Regular monitoring of dental restorations is essential for maintaining their longevity and effectiveness. Our dentists may recommend replacement or repair of restorations that are nearing the end of their lifespan or showing signs of wear, ensuring their patients continue to enjoy optimal oral health and function.
  5. Patient Comfort: Damaged or poorly fitting dental restorations can cause discomfort or sensitivity for patients. By checking the condition of restorations during dental examinations, our dentists can address any issues that may affect their patient’s comfort and quality of life.
  6. Overall Oral Health: The condition of dental restorations can impact overall oral health and function. By assessing the integrity and performance of restorations, our dentists can contribute to the preservation of their patient’s oral health and well-being.

DPB dentists check dental restorations during routine examinations to assess their integrity, detect any problems early, prevent complications, maintain long-term oral health, ensure patient comfort, and promote overall well-being. Regular monitoring of dental restorations is an essential aspect of comprehensive dental care.

An Occlusion Analysis

Our dentists perform an occlusion analysis during dental examinations to assess how the teeth come together when the jaws are closed, known as the bite or occlusion. Here are several reasons why occlusion analysis is an important part of our dental examinations:

  1. Evaluation of Bite Alignment: Occlusion analysis allows our dentists to evaluate the alignment of the upper and lower teeth and how they fit together when biting down. Proper alignment is essential for effective chewing, speaking, and overall oral function.
  2. Detection of Bite Irregularities: Occlusion analysis helps our dentists identify any irregularities in the bite, such as malocclusions (misalignments), crossbites, overbites, or underbites. These bite discrepancies can lead to oral health problems, including tooth wear, jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
  3. Assessment of Dental Work: For patients with dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, or implants, occlusion analysis ensures that the restorations are properly aligned with the natural teeth and the surrounding dental anatomy. Poorly aligned restorations can cause bite disturbances and compromise oral function.
  4. Identification of Signs of Bruxism: Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can cause excessive wear on the teeth and lead to bite irregularities, jaw pain, and other oral health issues. Occlusion analysis may reveal signs of bruxism, such as worn tooth surfaces or fractures, prompting further evaluation and treatment.
  5. Treatment Planning: An accurate assessment of occlusion is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan for various dental conditions, including orthodontic treatment, restorative dentistry, and prosthodontics. Understanding the patient’s bite allows our dentists to tailor treatment recommendations to address specific bite problems and achieve optimal outcomes.
  6. Patient Comfort: A well-aligned bite contributes to overall patient comfort and oral function. By identifying and addressing bite irregularities through occlusion analysis, our dentists can help improve patient comfort and reduce the risk of discomfort or pain associated with bite problems.

Occlusion analysis during dental examinations is essential for evaluating bite alignment, detecting irregularities, assessing dental work, identifying signs of bruxism, planning treatment, and promoting patient comfort and oral function. It allows our dentists to address bite-related issues comprehensively and provide personalized care to meet the individual needs of each patient.

A Smile Analysis

We want to make sure you love your smile and you’re happy to show it off! If you have any reservations about your smile, let’s work together to create the smile that will make you happy.

Our dentists may perform a “smile analysis” during dental checkups to if their patient expresses concern about an aspect of their smile. Our dentists may assess the appearance of their patient’s smile and the overall aesthetics of their teeth and gums. Here are several reasons why smile analysis may be part of dental examinations:

  1. Cosmetic Evaluation: Smile analysis allows our dentists to evaluate the appearance of the smile, including the alignment, shape, size, color, and symmetry of the teeth. This assessment helps our dentists identify any cosmetic concerns or imperfections that may affect their patient’s health or smile aesthetics.
  2. Patient Satisfaction: Understanding the patient’s goals and preferences regarding their smile allows our dentists to provide personalized recommendations for cosmetic treatments or procedures that can enhance the appearance of the patient’s smile and improve overall patient satisfaction.
  3. Treatment Planning: Smile analysis is an integral part of treatment planning for cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, dental bonding, veneers, crowns, or orthodontic treatment. By evaluating the smile aesthetics, dentists can develop a customized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs and goals.
  4. Functional Considerations: In addition to aesthetics, smile analysis also considers functional aspects such as occlusion (bite), tooth wear, and gum health. Addressing these functional concerns as part of the smile analysis ensures that any cosmetic treatments or procedures performed will not compromise oral function or overall oral health.
  5. Communication with Patients: Smile analysis provides an opportunity for dentists to communicate with patients about their smile concerns, treatment options, and expected outcomes. Dentists can use visual aids, digital imaging, or mock-up models to illustrate potential treatment results and help patients make informed decisions about their dental care.
  6. Comprehensive Care: Incorporating smile analysis into dental checkups allows dentists to provide comprehensive care that addresses both the functional and aesthetic aspects of oral health. By considering the patient’s overall smile aesthetics, dentists can enhance the appearance of the smile while also promoting optimal oral function and long-term oral health.

A smile analysis is sometimes part of a dental checkup to evaluate smile aesthetics, address cosmetic concerns, develop personalized treatment plans, ensure patient satisfaction, and promote comprehensive oral health care. It allows our dentists to tailor dental treatments to meet the individual needs and goals of each patient, ultimately enhancing the beauty and health of their smile.

Set Up An Appointment Today

Our experienced and caring dental team at Dental Partners of Boston works with you to ensure you have a beautiful, healthy smile. To set up your appointment for a complete oral exam today, give us a call.

Thanks for being our patient. We appreciate you.

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