A clinical exam is more commonly referred to as a routine check up. This check up lets your dentist essentially take inventory of the overall health of your mouth and teeth and diagnose any potential problems you may have:
We listen to you, and to what you have to say. We want to know your past problems, past dental experiences, past treatments, concerns and expectations. What you tell us may help determine why certain problems may be occurring. We also need to know what you think about your smile. Most of all, we want to know how we can make your experience with us the best dental experience that you and your family have ever had.
In most cases a clinical exam by itself is not sufficient to completely diagnose all potential problems with your mouth. In fact, the majority of problems with your teeth and the jawbone are not visible to the naked eye. That is why x-rays play a key role in allowing a better, and more accurate look at what is really going on inside your mouth and below your teeth and gums. By using x-rays your dentist can check for any bone loss and determine the severity of the gum disease.