What happens at a recall examination?
There are two types of examination
Initial exam (usually 30 minutes) The initial examination differs in that we have more time to get to know you and your expectations. We also record what dental work has been done.
Recall exam (usually 15 minutes) 6 monthly or as decided between dentist and patient
Recall examinations include checking the following:
Soft Tissues- we check inside of lips and cheeks, floor of mouth, tongue, and palate
why? -looking for redness, white patches, ulceration, anything out of normal range
Gums- gentle (believe it or not) probing of gums checking for bleeding, recession, measuring pocket depth (the distance to where the gum is actually attached to the tooth,) and presence of debris
Why? -Easy bleeding means gum disease and pocket depth indicates how bad the gum disease is.
The dentist will call out numbers to their assistant indicating level of disease. From
0= healthy, no problems, to 5= bleeding, pocket depth greater than 9mm, please pass the extraction forceps
Anything above 0’s and you will get the FLOSSING lecture, be afraid, be very afraid.
Teeth- dry the teeth in sections and inspect and probe,
Why? -Dark patches or shadows may indicate decay between the teeth (or coffee)
The probe is feeling for catches or softness where there should be smooth tooth
Looking at wear, (tooth grinding) erosion, (usually caused by acidic/sugar foods and drinks) and abrasion (brushing too hard)
Occlusion-how the teeth meet
Presence of plaque (soft white furry stuff) and calculus (hard yellow deposits)
X-rays-how often we take x-rays depends on various patient factors including age, decay rate, number of fillings present, but usually every three years. These show us what is happening under fillings, and between teeth where we can’t reach or see. An x-ray also shows us the level of the bone that is holding the teeth in
Cleaning- remove calculus- very common behind the lower teeth
Polish- a fine gritty paste removes all plaque and most staining
Talk- we finish up with a talk about any work you need or should consider or if there is anything that you should be aware of that is happening in your mouth. We will tell you if there is anything we think that you should do to improve the health of your mouth.
If you would like a longer appointment to discuss your mouth in greater depth or talk about more complex treatment options please let the receptionist know when you are booking your appointment. (Note: A longer appointment will usually cost more) Your dentist may also request that you return for a longer consultation if there is a lot to discuss
You are paying us for our advice; try not to let the relief of getting out of the surgery block your mind to the advice we are giving.