How to Get the Most From Your Dental Exams

gum_reshaping_1 | Tieken Smiles Dentistry

Dental exams are a routine dental service. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. In fact, regular dental exams are probably the most important thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy! (Outside of brushing and flossing your teeth, that is.)

We recommend visiting Tieken Smiles Dentistry every six months for a dental exam and cleaning. Are you or a family member due for your exam? Call us at 281-942-6615 to book an appointment at our League City, TX dentist office.

Proactive Dental Care

One reason regular dental exams are so important is that catching any problems early on prevents them from becoming larger and more costly problems later.

If we find a cavity during your dental exam, chances are we can treat it with a simple tooth filling. But if a cavity isn’t filled, decay will continue to eat away at your tooth. Then you’ll need a dental crown or even a root canal to stop the damage. You could even lose your tooth!

We use a tool called DIAGNOdent that uses laser fluorescence to help us detect cavities in their earliest stages.

Not Just Tooth Decay

Tooth decay isn’t the only thing we look for during your dental exam. We also check for:

  • Gum disease. Because gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, we look for signs of it in every exam. In its early stages, a thorough cleaning will get rid of it. More advanced cases require a deep cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing.
  • Dry mouth. In addition to being uncomfortable for you, dry mouth makes you more prone to tooth decay. If we see signs of dry mouth, we may recommend fluoride treatments and special mouth rinses or other products that will help.
  • Worn-down teeth. Teeth that show lots of wear and tear can be a sign of teeth grinding (bruxism). If you grind your teeth while sleeping, you may not even be aware you’re doing it! In addition to damaging your teeth, bruxism can cause headaches and other health problems. We can create a custom mouthguard for you that will take care of the problem.
  • Bite problems. If you have bite problems, you may be interested in a short-term orthodontics treatment like Invisalign.
  • Cancer. We use a tool called VELscope to look for signs of cancer. The types of cancer we might find, oral cancer and pharyngeal cancer, have low survival rates after the five-year mark. So the earlier they are detected, the better!   

Dental Exams Going High-Tech

VELscope and DIAGNOdent aren’t the only high-tech tools we use during our dental exams. We also use:

  • Digital X-rays. No more waiting for film to develop! We can get clear images right away and share them with you on a flat-screen monitor so we can more easily explain your treatment options.
  • Intraoral scanner. If we need to get impressions of your teeth, we’ll do it digitally with our intraoral scanner. No more messy molding material!
  • Surgical microscope. Because this microscope magnifies what we can see with our naked eye, we won’t miss any signs of trouble!

5 Tips for a Great Dental Exam


A little advance preparation goes a long way in ensuring your dental exam goes as smoothly as possible. Try these five tips the next time you visit our League City, TX dentist office.


  • Choose a time that works well with your schedule. Hurried and harried in the morning? Then book your dental exam later in the day. Always tired after work? An early-in-the-day appointment might be your best bet.
  • Ask questions. If you have questions or concerns, make sure to ask us during your dental exam. It’s a good idea to write them down beforehand so you won’t forget.
  • Bring paperwork. Make sure you bring your insurance card, your child’s Social Security card, or any other documents you may need with you. You can even download and fill out new patient forms prior to your first visit.
  • Book your next appointment. Go ahead and make your next appointment right after your dental exam so you don’t forget! Then make a note of it on your smartphone or wherever you keep reminders.
  • Practice good oral hygiene between your dental exams. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day keeps your mouth healthy!

for your dental exam? Call 281-942-6615. Or use our online form to schedule your visit to our League City, TX dentist office.

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