Everyone should have a dental exam twice a year. Delaying diagnosis of any problems delays treatment and problems typically grow, requiring more extensive treatment. With routine exams and professional teeth cleaning, we can prevent many problems from occurring or advancing. As part of his commitment to thorough preventative care, Dr. Stephen K. Malone and Dr. Michael J. Costa, Jr. provide complete dental exams at their Knoxville practice, including digital x-rays. He will examine you for signs of decay, tooth damage, dental misalignment, TMD, oral cancer, gum disease, and more. Armed with detailed information about your oral health, he can recommend the optimal treatment for you, according to a plan that can be achieved affordably over time and still address any urgent problems first. Whether you need an exam yourself, or you want to schedule one for a family member, we are ready to meet your needs. Contact us today to book an exam and protect your healthy smile.
The Importance of Dental Exams
All too often, cavities and other dental concerns are only diagnosed when patients exhibit symptoms. By this time, they will require extensive restorative care to repair their smiles. In severe cases, they may even lose their tooth. When you receive regular exams, Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa, can look for the earliest signs of decay and dental damage. Then they can treat these concerns with moderate, non-invasive treatments.
In addition to checking your teeth, Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa will also examine your soft tissues. He will look for irritation or gum recession, which could signal gum disease. In the early stages, he can treat this condition with a routine cleaning. In the later stages, you may require a deep cleaning or even gum surgery. Your dentist will also look for lesions or other signs of oral cancer. When this disease is detected early, oral cancer patients typically fare well.
What Happens during an Exam?
Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa will conduct your exam. The doctor will perform a visual scan, looking for dental damage or oral sores that are visible to the naked eye. If he discovers any tissue irregularities, he will order a biopsy. After the visual exam, Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa will take digital x-rays that can reveal decay, infection, structural damage, and similar concerns. During some exams, your dentist will take digital panoramic x-rays that show your entire mouth structure from jaw to jaw. They can reveal misalignment, impacted teeth, jawbone degeneration, TMJ Disorder, and more. You will not typically get x-rays at every appointment. The frequency will depend on your needs, symptoms, and health history.
Dental Exams for All Ages
For more complete dental protection, you should schedule an exam every six months. Dr. Malone and Dr. Costa proudly provides thorough exams to patients of all ages. Parents may be surprised to learn that children should start receiving exams about six months after their first teeth come in (age one). Older patients will also benefit from ongoing care. Even those with a full set of dentures are susceptible to gum disease and oral cancer.
Schedule an Exam Today
Make your dental health a top priority. Contact our office today to schedule an exam for yourself or someone in your family. Drs. Malone and Costa proudly serve patients from around the Knoxville area, including Powell, Karns, Farragut, Seymour, Maryville, and Oak Ridge.. Schedule your exam today.