When you visit a dental practice you have never visited before, your dentist will perform a new patient exam to assess your oral and overall health. Comprehensive oral exams ensure your dentist is able to meet your specific needs and provide preventative care measures.
Why Oral Health Screening is Essential
Preventative care is a dental priority. Even if your teeth feel fine and look great, having a regular dental exam at least once a year is essential as a tool for monitoring your oral health. When dentists can diagnose issues early on, there are often more treatment options available.
What to Expect from Your First Visit
What is including in new patient exams or comprehensive dental exams will often depend on the dentist you have chosen. Most often, exams include several services and procedures, including:
- A full medical history, including previous dental care
- Comprehensive x-rays
- Examination of the teeth, gums, and jaw
Your dentist will be looking for any abnormalities, including cracks, chips, cavities, wear, and staining of the teeth, mobile or loose teeth, any recession of the gums, and any irregularities in the soft tissue.
Your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening via a soft tissue exam. He or she will ask you questions about risk factors for oral cancer (such as smoking) and may examine or feel for lumps in your mouth, along your jaw, and around your lymph nodes.
Once your exam is complete, your dentist will discuss the findings of the exam with you. This may include new findings, a potential treatment plan for the best outcomes, at-home dental care routines, and preventative measures you can take to maintain excellent dental health.
Comprehensive Dental Examinations & Teeth Cleanings
New Patient Exams FAQs
What Should I Bring to My Appointment?
For your first appointment with a dentist, be sure to bring information about your dental and medical history, including any medication, medical conditions, and past dental treatments or dental work completed. Let your dentist know if you have a history of gum disease, oral cancer, or any other dental conditions. You can also remember to wear comfortable clothing to your appointment, as you’ll likely be asked to lie down on a reclining chair.
How often should I have an oral exam?
Dental hygiene appointments are scheduled based on patient specific needs. Once you’ve completed your first visit exam, your dentist will tell you whether you need to increase or decrease the frequency of your dental hygiene visits.
When should I bring my child to the dentist for an oral exam?
Dentists often like to see children when they are near or under one year old, as the first teeth begin to emerge. Early dental care for children can help encourage healthy hygiene habits, normalize the experience, and ensure your child’s dental health is being managed throughout developmental stages.
Find a Dental Clinic Near You
You can book a new patient exams with any of the dentists in the 123Dentist network. Choose a local dental clinic and book a comprehensive oral exam today.