What is a dental exam and why is it important for you?

Have you wondered what is a dental exam and why it is so important for your oral health? A dental examination is not just a routine checkup. It is also a comprehensive evaluation that plays a crucial role in keeping your teeth and gums in optimal condition.

Dental care is essential to maintain a healthy smile and prevent long-term dental problems.

That is why one of the fundamental pillars of oral care is the dental examination. This procedure is a comprehensive evaluation that not only detects existing problems, but also prevents future complications.

In this article, we will explore in detail what is a dental exam, why it is crucial for your oral health, and how it can benefit you in the long term.


What is a dental exam?

A dental examination is a comprehensive oral health evaluation performed by a dentist to detect dental problems. These may include: cavities, gum disease, jaw abnormalities, and other disorders related to the mouth and teeth.

During the examination, the dentist performs a visual inspection. In some cases, she may use x-rays to get a more detailed look at the patient’s oral health.

Types of dental exams

There are several types of dental examinations that dentists perform depending on the needs and oral health status of each patient. Some of the most common types of dental exams include:

  • Routine dental exam:

This is the basic exam that is performed during regular visits to the dentist, generally every six months. The routine exam includes a visual check of the teeth, gums, and other oral structures. It is done in order to detect problems such as cavities, gum diseases and dental abnormalities.

  • Complete dental exam:

The complete dental examination is more detailed and includes a complete evaluation of all aspects of oral health. A complete examination includes x-rays, evaluation of gum health, and examination of the jaw and temporomandibular joints. In addition, detection of possible oral and dental health problems.

  • Emergency dental exam:

This type of dental exam is performed in urgent situations. An emergency dental examination will be done when the patient presents acute pain, dental trauma, infections or any other problem that requires immediate attention.

The dental examination aims to:

The main goal of a dental examination is to detect problems in early stages and provide an accurate diagnosis. In addition, it allows you to develop a personalized treatment plan to maintain good long-term oral health.

A dental examination is essential for your dental health. Therefore, your dentist will perform a complete dental exam during your first visit. During subsequent visits, you will receive periodic checks.

The dental exam includes:

We perform dental x-rays: These x-rays will be examined and are essential to detect cavities, tumors, cysts and bone loss. They are also used to determine the position of teeth and roots, for example, tooth spacing and occlusion.

Next, we perform oral cancer screening: we check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues and gums for signs of oral cancer.

This also includes a gum disease evaluation: we examine the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease. In addition, we carry out a dental caries examination, all surfaces of the teeth will be examined with special instruments.

Examination of existing restorations: We check any fillings, crowns or other restorative work you have had done to determine if they are in good condition or need to be replaced.

What you should tell your dentist

When you are undergoing a dental examination, it is important to let your dentist know about any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing. As well as any changes to your oral health since your last visit.

Some things you should mention to your dentist during a dental exam include:

  • Pain or sensitivity in the teeth, gums, or jaw.
  • Gum bleeding when brushing or flossing.
  • Changes in the appearance of your teeth or gums, such as stains, inflammation, or redness.
  • Problems with chewing or swallowing food.
  • Strange sensations in your mouth, such as tingling or numbness.
  • Use of orthopedic or dental appliances, such as braces or prostheses.
  • If there are any rough spots where the floss snags and frays.
  • Any change in the color of the skin inside the mouth.
  • History of dental illnesses or previous treatments.
  • Medicines you are taking regularly.
  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you have allergies.
  • Changes in your lifestyle that may affect your oral health, such as oral hygiene or eating habits.
  • Any concerns or questions you have about your oral health or the recommended treatment.


Dental examinations are a vital part of your oral care. They help us detect problems early and resolve them before they can cause serious and distressing issues.

For this reason, we suggest that patients visit us twice a year for dental exams along with their dental cleanings. The dentist may modify the frequency of visits, if necessary.


In short, a dental examination is much more than a visit to the dentist; It is an investment in your oral and general health. By understanding their importance and maintaining a regular routine, you are taking significant steps towards a healthier, longer-lasting smile.

You already know its importance for the health of your mouth. Now, do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment to have a dental exam with our dentists at Center Dentaire Fairmount. Don’t miss the opportunity to take the best care of your smile!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions and answers about our excellent dental exam service in Montreal

It is recommended to have a dental examination at least every six months to maintain good oral health and prevent serious dental problems.

A dental exam includes inspection of the teeth, gums, tongue, jaw, and other oral structures, as well as x-rays if necessary for a more complete evaluation.

In general, a dental exam should be painless. The dentist uses tools and techniques that minimize discomfort during the procedure.

Before your dental exam, it is important to brush and floss your teeth to ensure proper cleaning. It is also helpful to inform your dentist of any problems or symptoms you may have.

If problems are detected during the dental exam, the dentist will discuss available treatment options and develop a personalized care plan based on the patient’s needs.

In some cases, x-rays are recommended during a dental exam to detect problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities between the teeth or root problems.

The duration of a dental exam can vary depending on the complexity and needs of the patient, but generally lasts between 30 minutes and an hour.

Yes, it is important for children to have regular dental exams to maintain good oral health and detect any problems early.

Regular dental exams are essential to prevent serious dental problems, maintain good oral hygiene, and preserve the body’s overall health, since oral health is closely related to overall health.

Dr. Maria Fernanda Salviz
Dentist at Centre Dentaire Fairmount | Website | + posts

Dr. Maria Fernanda Salviz completed her doctorate in dentistry in 2022 at Laval University in Quebec. For her, dentistry has always been a great passion of hers, which pushes her to want to offer a high level of quality in care. It is with great empathy and kindness that Dr. Salviz wishes to offer dental care to her clients, for all ages. At Centre Dentaire Fairmount, Dr. Salviz welcomes not only adult patients, but children as well.