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
Patient Reviews
Maxine is the best!
Latonya W.
Awesome staff and dentist. My endodontist was amazing! Dr. Zand and C.T. were great!!
Michelle I.
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.
Very Professional and efficient.
William T.
everyone is friendly & the doctors are so professional
Charl W.
Efficient office, excellent hygienist and doctors.
Barry R.
Seema is a great hygienist at the Columbia office. Very thorough and professional.
Ken J.
Dr. Wright is very proffesional and was awesome I am giving him personally 5 stars for how he explains what is wrong, what needs to be done, and he is painless he did an amazing job so far have to go […]
Phillip M.
Personal care, expert technical work, thorough explanation of plan and procedures, pleasant, courteous staff.
Elizabeth P.
The people there are very nice and helpful. They make sure you comfortable. They know how to do their jobs.
Virgini B.
Clean office friendly knowledgeable staff.
Adam S.
I have been with Dr. Pahk and Maxine since 2015. Although I haven’t visit in some time, everything from waiting in the room to being seen was exactly how I want to be treated. Both Pahk and Maxine […]
Liann C.
been going to Dental One Associates (in Columbia, MD) for many years. Great/smooth check-in and check out at receptionists desk. Great service.
Darlene N.
Excellent advice and care for individual
Mary W.
Awesome fast service and clean place. I had a tooth extracted and everything went well.
Luis D.
Friendly knowledgeable staff, it is a pleasure to visit
Joann J.
Caring Service
George P.
Very comfortable with Dr. Asher.
Margaret J.
The office’s care management and coordination of services. Doctors take time to thoroughly explain findings and choices for resolving issue.
Denise B.
Excellent service
Alan C.
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 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (410) 346-2350
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