The importance and value of dental exams and what to expect during your checkup

Dental Exam for New Patients in Columbia MO Area

More teeth have been lost due to tooth decay and gum disease than any other condition. Conditions that affect the mouth, like periodontitis or late-stage gum disease, are also linked to serious medical problems, ranging from respiratory illnesses to heart disease.  

Fortunately, Chase Patton, DDS, partners with our neighbors in Columbia, Missouri, to support their oral and overall health with preventative dentistry. Routine dental checkups are a cornerstone of this healthy approach to dental care. For new and “seasoned” patients alike, no checkup would be complete without Dr. Patton performing the crucial dental exam. 

 Every six months is the “standard”

The “standard” rule is that healthy individuals should maintain oral exams and cleanings once every six months or twice yearly. Patients who are at increased risk of developing oral cancer, gum disease, or tooth decay should visit us more frequently. That way, we can stay ahead of problems and closely monitor any interventions or therapies to see how well they work to resolve any existing disease.

Dr. Patton performs a complete and thorough exam that partly involves checking for problems at their earliest stages. These problems affect the oral cavity (mouth) as well as neighboring tissue/anatomy (like the jaw joints). It is not uncommon for early inflammation of the gums or early tooth decay that wears at the protective enamel to be “silent” or not associated with any noticeable changes. Or, the changes may be modest (and easily ignored).

When “pink in the sink,” sensitivity or pain, and other changes are undeniable, damage may have already occurred that requires aggressive treatment or may even be irreparable.

So, exams help to prevent pain that can interfere with your life, as well as the expense and time associated with invasive procedures to “save” or replace badly damaged teeth. 

These six-month visits are also great opportunities:

  • For our hygienists to painlessly remove stubborn plaque tartar from the teeth and gumline
  • For your teeth to feel minty-fresh and look whiter after a good cleaning and polishing
  • To advise and demonstrate ways to effectively brush and floss the teeth
  • To offer guidance on other behaviors and habits that affect the health of your mouth, for instance, diet and nutrition
  • For Dr. Patton to get up to speed on any changes to your overall health that can affect the health of your teeth and gums
  • To screen for oral cancers, precancers, and other anomalies 
  • For our team to use special technologies to “see” what can’t be seen with the eyes, which supports early diagnoses
  • To discuss or apply professional preventive services such as dental sealants to protect premolars and molars where 90% of cavities occur

Are you due for a comprehensive visit to your friends at Chase Patton, DDS? Call our office in Columbia, MO, at (573) 875-7040 to get caught up and back on the right track.

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Call Us: (573) 875-7040