This Routine Procedure Can be Unnecessarily Intimidating for Some

Even though we’re used to all the trappings of a dentist’s office — because that’s where we work — we get why people are intimidated by coming here.

The simplest procedure at a dentist’s office has you in a vulnerable position with people probing around in your sensitive mouth. It would be odd if at least some people didn’t find this intimidating.

But we at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland want to put you at ease, so here’s a rundown of what you can expect during a routine dental exam. It’s not a vacation, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some people fear.

First, we’ll clean your teeth, so we know what we’re dealing with. If it’s been a while since you were in, it’s likely you’ll need scaling, and this can be a two-visit procedure, depending on how much work you need.

The cleaning is followed by an exam by one of our dentists, who will look for signs of decay and disease. The dentist will check for inflammation, swelling and signs that you might have gum disease. These are important steps because we want to stop decay and gum disease as early as possible because of the damage they can do.

The dentist will also check how your upper and lower teeth come together, looking for evidence that you might be grinding your teeth when you sleep and unaware of that fact. The exam includes a check of the temporomandibular joint that can cause problems for some people as well as a check of your neck, lymph glands, palate and your cheeks, tongue, lips and the floor of your mouth. It’s not all about your teeth. When we say oral health, we mean everything. The exam includes X-rays so the dentist can see what’s going on inside your teeth as gums as well.

Your dentist will also check for signs of oral cancer, which is a disease that is treatable in its early stages but still manages to claim close to 10,000 lives each year.

The dental health professionals at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland are ready and willing to help you take care of your teeth. Contact us if you have questions about this blog post or any dental health-related matter. You can also schedule an appointment online here.