Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

Cracking the Code: Decoding the Language of Dental Examinations

Duane Kelly

Demystifying the jargon surrounding dental examinations can often seem like decoding a complex language. This blog post will facilitate your understanding of this critical topic. Read on to explore how you can become fluent in the language of dental exams.

Understanding Basic Dental Terminology

To begin with, the terminology used in dental examinations may seem arcane, but with a little explanation, it can be understood.


This refers to tooth decay or cavities. It's a common condition characterised by the breakdown of a tooth's structure due to acids produced by bacteria.


This term relates to the gums. For instance, periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums and bones.


Commonly known as a 'scale and polish', this procedure removes plaque and tartar that may develop, even with careful brushing and flossing.

Unravelling the Dental Examination Process

During your dental visit, your dentist will conduct a series of checks:

Visual Check

The dentist uses an explorer (sharp instrument) and dental mirror to inspect teeth for signs of caries, plaque or tartar build-up.


This is a physical examination where the dentist checks your neck, jaw and oral tissues for abnormalities.

Percussion and Mobility Tests

The dentist taps on the teeth and checks for loose teeth, which could indicate underlying issues.

Decoding X-Rays and Their Significance

An integral part of dental examinations, X-rays provide a more in-depth look into your oral health.

Bitewing X-ray

This type detects caries and gum disease by providing a visual of both the upper and lower back teeth.

Periapical X-ray

It provides a view of a tooth, from the root to the crown, identifying any unusual changes or infections.

Panoramic X-ray

Used less frequently, this X-ray gives a comprehensive view of the teeth, jaws and sinuses, which is beneficial for orthodontic planning and diagnosing impacted teeth.

Making Sense of Treatment Recommendations

Post-examination, your dentist will advise you on the necessary next steps.

Conservative Management

This involves simple measures such as improving oral hygiene practices or using medicated mouthwash.

Restorative Treatment

Procedures like fillings, crowns or root canal treatments fall into this category.


For more complex cases, your dentist may refer you to specialists, such as endodontists or periodontists.


With a solid understanding of dental examination language and processes, you can converse effortlessly with your dentist and make informed decisions about your dental health. For more info, contact a local general dentistry clinic today.


2024© Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog
About Me
Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!