A periodic oral examination is an essential part of preventative healthcare. When you come in for your dental examination in Santa Maria, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, jaw joints, and the rest of your mouth to look for signs of any dental problems. This examination helps your dentist monitor your oral health to prevent dental diseases, pain, and the need for costly treatments.

What Happens During a Dental
Exam in Santa Maria?

What Happens During a Dental Exam in Santa Maria?

When you first visit Santa Barbara Family Dentistry, a member of our team will review your health and dental history forms to get to know you and your needs better.

Then, we’ll take digital x-rays. Typically, at a new patient examination, we’ll take a complete set of dental x-rays if you haven’t had a complete set in the past three to five years. Depending on your needs, your dentist may also recommend a CT scan.

Dental x-rays allow your dentist to see what they can’t see with the naked eye, including:

  • Between the teeth
  • Inside the teeth
  • Inside the bone
  • Under the gum
  • The sinuses
  • The jawbone
What Happens During a Dental Exam in Santa Maria Santa Barbara Family Dentistry Image.

With this diagnostic tool, your
dentist can check for:

Special Diagnostics Tool Santa Barbara Family Dentistry Image.

With this diagnostic tool, your
dentist can check for:

  • Dental Decay
  • Bone Loss
  • Cysts
  • Jaw Misalignment
  • Root/Root Canal Abnormalities

The next step is to complete the oral examination. During this part of your appointment, your Santa Maria dentist will examine your teeth for signs of:

  • Decay
  • Wear
  • Cracks
  • Erosion/abrasion
  • Bruxism (Clenching and Grinding)

They’ll also evaluate the health of your gums by measuring the depths of the gum pockets around your teeth to evaluate for periodontal disease. Your dentist will also look for other signs of gum disease, including inflammation, redness, tartar build-up, bleeding, and infection.

Your dentist will check your bite and jaw joints to evaluate for bite misalignment. When your jaw and teeth aren’t correctly aligned, it can lead to:

  • TMJ Disorder
  • Cracked teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Enamel wear
  • Fractured teeth

Finally, your Santa Maria dentist will perform a soft tissue evaluation and oral cancer screening.

Soft tissue evaluation and oral cancer screening in Santa Maria Image.

What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the mouth and throat. During this screening, your dentist feels for lumps or abnormal tissue changes on your neck and inside your mouth. We may also do additional testing or use specialized equipment to identify any suspicious areas, particularly if you’re at higher risk. High-risk includes:

  • Adults over 40
  • Anyone who uses tobacco
  • Those who also drink alcohol excessively
  • People who have had oral contact with the human papillomavirus (HPV)

We perform a thorough oral cancer exam during your checkups because early detection can save your life.

Meeting with Our Front Office Team Santa Barbara Family Dentistry Santa Maria Image.

Meeting with Our Front Office Team

Finally, you’ll meet with our front office team to discuss insurance coverage (if you have insurance) and co-payments. They will also inform you of payment and outside financing options and work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget.

Payment Options

Santa Barbara Family Dentistry accepts:

  • All major credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Checks

Outside Financing

We also accept payments through third-party financing. The company pays Santa Barbara Family Dentistry directly, and you make payments to them. Most companies offer multiple plans, including different interest rates, maximums, and payment timelines. We accept:

  • Wells Fargo
  • CareCredit
  • LendingClub

Dental Insurance

We work with most insurance plans and will gladly submit a claim to your insurance company for any treatment we provide. Our team is very knowledgeable and will assist you in understanding how your dental plan works and how to maximize your benefits.

We are a preferred provider for the following dental plans:

  • Premier Access
  • Ameritas
  • Principal Financial Group
  • United Concordia Dental
  • Humana
  • GEHA
  • Guardian
  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • First Dental Health
  • Western Growers
  • MetLife
  • Sun Life Financial
  • Aflac
  • Assurant
  • UABT UnitedAg
  • The Standard
  • Delta Dental
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
Dental Insurance at Santa Barbra Fmily Dentistry Santa Maria Image.

What Happens During a Consultation with
My Santa Barbara Family Dentistry Team?

Special Diagnostics Tool Santa Barbara Family Dentistry Image.

What Happens During a Consultation with
My Santa Barbara Family Dentistry Team?

After your examination, your dentist will create a customized treatment plan. The treatment plan will not only take into account your oral health needs but also your dental goals, such as brightening your smile.

During your consultation, your Santa Maria dentist will explain why you may need dental treatment and why they’ve recommended specific treatment options. They’ll also address any questions or concerns about your oral health or treatment plan.

Meet Our Doctors

Our experienced and talented dental team is committed to working with you to create a comfortable and stress-free experience every time you visit our practice. We are pleased to welcome you and your family and look forward to working with you.

Our team:

We Look Forward to Caring for Your Family’s Dental Needs

Our team wants you to feel safe, comfortable, and confident whenever you meet with your Santa Maria dentist. We will always take the time to discuss your dental needs, concerns, questions, and goals. We look forward to helping you and your entire family achieve good oral health and maintain it for a lifetime.

Are you ready to get started?

Contact our team to schedule your new patient exam and consultation.