Exam 2 of 3: What is the Doc Looking For?

Exam Check

Continue reading for a thorough breakdown of what your dentist is looking for during your exam.


During your examination, x-rays will be taken. Your dentist will examine the x-rays for the following reasons:

Visual Examination

During the visual portion of your examination, your dentist will take a close look throughout the inside of the mouth in order to ensure that there are no signs of decay, gum recession, or damage to the teeth. He or she will then take a full account of the teeth that are present in the mouth, as well as their current condition.

The occlusion of the teeth will then be checked. The occlusion is the manner in which the teeth come together. This is checked in order to make sure that the teeth are coming together as they should, and to ensure that there are no high stress points in the bite.

Gum Examination

After examining the teeth, your dentist will take a device that is known as a periodontal probe and begin a thorough examination of the gums. The space between the tooth and gum tissue, known as the pocket, will be measured; a large amount of space between the two is usually an indication of gum disease, as there is a greater amount of space for bacteria to accumulate.

In the case that the dentist finds that the pocket measures 4mm or more, you will officially qualify for gum disease. He or she will then plan to have you undergo gum therapy treatments in order to help manage your gum disease. Depending on the severity of your case, these treatments may include scaling and root planing.

Charting and Treatment Planning

After all aspects of your examination are complete, your dentist will ensure that all findings will be recorded in full detail inside your chart. He or she will then develop a full responsive treatment plan that addresses any negative findings during your exam. This treatment plan will be discussed with you in detail to ensure that you understand what has been planned, and what you can expect during your treatment.

With the information you learned here, you will have a better understanding of what your dentist is looking for during your routine check-up examinations, as well as what you can expect. To get scheduled for a dental exam in San Jose, give us a call at Willow Glen Dental Center (408) 266-6144.

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