FAQs: What Happens During an Oral Examination?

The first step towards treating your smile is an oral examination. We perform a checkup to assess the health and stability of your smile. From there, we can provide the necessary treatment to improve your overall dental health. What happens during an oral examination?

Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Examinations

Question: How often should I have an exam?

Answer: According to the American Dental Association, you need to have a checkup once every six months. An oral examination allows the dentist to watch for any indicators of a developing problem, including tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or misalignment. Once we uncover these issues we can then recommend treatment to address the issue.

Question: What happens during a checkup?

Answer: Using advanced technology, including intraoral cameras and digital x-rays, we will carefully assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. We can then discuss the results and create a personalized treatment plan. We discuss if oral surgery will be necessary and answer any questions you may have.

Question: Will the doctor perform an oral cancer screening?

Answer: Yes. We will thoroughly exam the interior of your mouth looking for possible warning signs of oral cancer, which may include rough patches, red and white spotted splotches, bleeding areas, and areas of irritation. We will also inquire about any hoarseness, chronic discomfort, pain when chewing, or dry mouth. We may recommend a biopsy if we find any possible cancerous or precancerous areas.

Question: What if I need emergency care?

Answer: A dental emergency refers to any sudden pain or damage to the teeth or gums. If you encounter an emergency situation related to the mouth that isn’t life threatening, then contact our office right away. No matter what time, we will meet you at the office to treat the issue.


Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.