Dental One Associates of Columbia
10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 410, Columbia, MD 21044

General Dentistry Basics – Understanding Your Dental Exam

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If you want to keep your gorgeous smile, you have to take care of your teeth and gums. Great oral hygiene, professional cleanings, and regular dental visits are essential. A routine dental exam is one of the most important things you can do to maintain great oral health. You should schedule a checkup at least once per year or more often if you have chronic dental problems. At each visit, you’ll receive a complete visual and manual exam of your teeth and gums and an oral cancer screening.

The Lowdown on Visual and Manual Dental Exams

One of the most basic and vital procedures in general dentistry is the visual exam. Your dentist starts by closely inspecting all of your teeth and the tissues surrounding them. He or she will also check each tooth with a dental instrument called an explorer to help uncover any decay, stains, or indications of gum recession. Your dentist may also want to take a closer look at the condition of your teeth by ordering a variety of dental X-rays; these can aid in the diagnosis of many dental problems that are not obvious during a visual exam.

What’s Involved in an Oral Cancer Screening

Your oral cancer screening involves exploration of the skin and soft tissues inside your mouth in search of lumps, lesions, and other suspicious abnormalities. If an unusual or suspicious area is found, you will need further testing to determine if cancer is present. You may be referred to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. Your risk of oral cancer is higher if you use tobacco products, drink alcohol excessively, or have a previous history of oral cancer. If you are concerned about your cancer risk, ask your dentist to refer you for specialized oral cancer screenings.

How to Find Dentists to Meet your Needs

When it’s time to schedule your general dentistry checkup, contact your family dental clinic. Keep in mind that some dental insurance companies will only cover basic exams, so it’s best to determine exactly what services are covered before your appointment date arrives. If you don’t already have a trusted family dental professional in mind, check listings for general dentistry or family dentistry in your phone directory or online to find dentists who can treat both you and the rest of your family members.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Columbia, call Dental One Associates of Columbia today at (410) 346-2350 or make an appointment.

Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Columbia. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Columbia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Columbia.

Read What Our Patients Say
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Excellent service
Alan C.
Excellent cleaning experience
Susan R.
The people there are very nice and helpful. They make sure you comfortable. They know how to do their jobs.
Virgini B.
Aide was able to give a great explanation of a crown/cap and show me a model to answer all of my questions. Ended up not needed one but he did a great job calming my fears!
Luke M.
Every member of Dr. Wright’s team is just outstanding and they really understand the anxiety around visiting your favorite dentist. Great customer awareness and care, I always leave there […]
Lou K.
Always friendly staff. Timely appointments. I really like the late afternoon schedulings availability.
Clarence S.
Dr. Asher is very professional and did a wonderful job removing a tooth. Couldn’t have been better!
Donald S.
I’m satisfied with your service
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Fast and courteous service.
Luis V.
Another great visit @ Dental One. Kudos to my dental hygienist Maxine for her being so good at what she does. She has a clear passion for patient care and well-being, and really enjoys her job. She […]
Jeffrey K.
Dr Burrow’s made me feel comfortable. She was humming a song the entire time she extracted my tooth.
Theodora S.
The staff- including front office staff, dental hygienist, everyone!
Amanda M.
Pleasant, efficient, and knowledgable staff.
Barbara T.
OMG. I love my new teeth. I had a total mouth reconstruction by Dr. Wright. It was a long process but worth it. I have beautiful teeth and I just can’t stop smiling.
Kole M.
I have no complaints
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Very Professional and efficient.
William T.
The awesomeness of Dr. Chehab and his staff – they are gentle, courteous, friendly…they help you to have a great dental experience…. and I trust them.
Cynthia F.
Doctors handle any problem with patients.
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My Hygienist was patient, and pleasant. I felt at ease and not tensed as I had before.
Keith F.
My hygienist is awesome
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We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

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Office Hours
  • Monday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (410) 346-2350
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