Dental Exams in Charlotte, NC

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Maintaining oral health requires brushing and flossing your teeth while watching what you eat and drink. Another aspect of good oral health involves consistent visits to a dentist for exams. While at-home care is essential, it takes more to ensure that your teeth are healthy. You can find these services at Luminous Dental in Charlotte, North Carolina.

One of the ways dentists assist you in maintaining your oral health is by performing oral exams to inspect your teeth and gums. How can these regular exams help you, and what happens during one?

Dentist Exam in Charlotte, NC

Overview Of Dental Exams

Your dental exam checkup is essential for your oral health hygiene. A dentist uses specialized tools, knowledge, and expertise to check for any signs of bacteria, decay, damage, or periodontal disease.

Though dentists recommend brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily, there are still areas of your mouth that a regular toothbrush can’t reach. As a result, it’s easy for bacteria to gather in these areas, creating adverse health problems you may not realize are developing. The biggest issue with many cases of tooth decay or disease is that they begin with subtle changes that the untrained eye can’t catch.

By getting a regular dental exam, your dentist can find and isolate these problem areas for you. Because preventive dentistry places a significant emphasis on finding problems before they progress, the dental exam is vital in protecting your teeth and gums.

What Happens During A Dental Exam?


During your dental examination, Dr. Carli will start by discussing your dental and medical history and asking questions about any changes you may have experienced since your last visit. Next, she will review any medications you may have started or problems you’ve noticed with your teeth and gums. If you have any questions or concerns, she will also take this time to address them.

Dr. Carli will inspect your teeth and soft tissues using a handheld mirror and dental tools. She will look for any signs of decay, chipped or fractured teeth,plaque, tartar,  periodontal disease, or any other problems that may have arisen. 

In most cases, Dr. Carli will order X-rays of your mouth and intraoral photos in order to perform a more in-depth search for any oral health issues. Both X-rays and pictures can help detect small cavities and other signs of damage that may not be visible with a regular check inside the mouth.. She will also take an intraoral 3D scan of all your teeth to give information regarding teeth alignment, grinding/clenching habits, and to help track progression of teeth movement over time.

If you have had a routine dental exam before, Dr.Carli may also recommend a more comprehensive dental checkup if you have gone a year or more without one. In a comprehensive exam, she will give you an oral cancer screening, in which she examines the soft tissue of your mouth and neck for any signs of oral cancer. She will also inspect the roof and floor of your mouth, your temporomandibular joint, your salivary glands, and your lymph nodes.

Following your exam, Dr. Carli will offer recommendations on what you can do to maintain your oral hygiene and what you can do to make improvements for your future dental hygiene examinations. She will also create a comprehensive treatment plan to address any health issues she discovers.

Why Do You Need A Dental Exam?

Many oral health problems start without any symptoms or obvious signs. What’s worse is that these issues can appear in areas of your mouth that you cannot reach or see on your own. Like any other medical concern, early treatment and prevention are the best courses of action for dealing with the problems that can affect your teeth and gums.

Oral health problems like tooth decay and periodontal disease can require various treatment methods. Having two dental examinations twice a year can significantly improve your oral health by catching issues before they become a bigger problem. If your dentist can spot these problems when they first form, she can treat them quickly with simple preventive measures that are less time-consuming, expensive, and painful.

In addition, systemic health problems like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes have early warning signs that start in the mouth. A thorough oral exam can catch these signs. And if your dentist can detect an early symptoms of these diseases, she can recommend that you visit a general practitioner.

A routine oral exam can last for 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the last time you had an oral examination. The length of your visit will also depend on how thorough the exam will be. A quick recall checkup is faster than an initial comprehensive exam with X-rays and oral cancer screenings. Try to plan for your exam to last for at least 30 minutes to give yourself enough time to ask questions.

Experts recommend you visit your dentist for an oral exam at least twice yearly or every six months. If you are experiencing any adverse oral health conditions, had a procedure performed, or have had health problems in the past, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. Be sure to consult your dentist about how often oral exams should be performed.

Is A Dental Cleaning The Same Thing As A Dental Exam?

Though they have similar roots in preventive dentistry, dental exams and dental cleanings are two different procedures. A dental exam aims to monitor your oral health, detect problems before they begin, and lay the foundation for any treatment plans your dentist may need to recommend. 

Dental cleanings are designed to remove difficult stains, plaque, and tartar from your teeth. While plaque can be removed at home with regular brushing and flossing, tartar can only be treated with a professional dental cleaning. Because plaque and tartar are bacterial colonies that can wear away your enamel, it’s vital to have them dealt with quickly.

The Cost Of A Dental Exam

Dental exams are inexpensive if you maintain good oral health. On the other hand, if your dentist recommends X-rays or a more comprehensive exam to detect any hidden problems or to further investigate a specific area, the cost of the exam goes up. Fortunately, because most dental insurance programs consider dental exams necessary for your health, many of them will at least partially cover the cost of a routine exam. However, they may not include oral cancer screenings or X-rays in their coverage. So, check with your insurance provider before going in for a dental exam.

Trust The Professionals With Your Oral Health


The good people of Charlotte, NC, know that one of the secrets to oral health is keeping your teeth and gums clean. Doing so requires brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist and dental hygienist regularly. That’s why Dr. Carli Warden and the team at Luminous Dental are here to share their expertise and offer care of the highest quality. In addition, they dedicate themselves to education to ensure that they are well-versed in the most advanced techniques and technologies, while making every patient feel welcome and comfortable in their office.

Please get in touch with us today if you would like to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning.