Brushing and flossing are both critical habits to preventing serious oral health problems. However, sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can still be faced with conditions like gum disease and tooth decay. Unfortunately, you can’t always spot the early warning signs of these issues in your bathroom mirror. This is why, at National Dental Douglaston, we perform thorough oral exams.


It is recommended that you have a dental exam every six months. Typically, your exam is performed during the same visit as your cleaning. A dental exam is a thorough examination of your mouth, during which we look for any areas that might be cause for concern. If we do find anything wrong, no matter how small, we can be proactive and treat the issue right away, preventing the need for more invasive procedures later down the road.

There are a few different types of oral exams:

  • Comprehensive oral exam: A comprehensive exam is done if you are a new patient in our office. It is also ideal to have a comprehensive exam if it has been a while since your last visit.
  • Periodic oral Exam: A periodic exam is your regular exam that takes place every six months. We thoroughly inspect the condition of your mouth and update your information as needed since your last visit.
  • Limited oral exam: A limited exam focuses on examining your mouth for a specific problem, based on a set of symptoms.
  • Follow up exam: A follow-up is done after you have received treatment for a condition, allowing us to monitor your healing.


An oral exam is a simple, yet comprehensive, procedure. During your exam, we thoroughly inspect the structures within your mouth, checking your teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, the roof of the mouth and the entrance to your throat. We visually inspect for cracks, fractures, and decay in your teeth. We check your gums for signs of inflammation and recession. We also check for any unusual spots on the soft tissues of your teeth. As part of your regular exam, we conduct an oral cancer screening, which involves examining both inside your mouth as well as out (including your jaw and neck).

Following your visual inspection, we will have an open discussion with you. We will ask about your oral hygiene habits and lifestyle habits (if you smoke or drink). We can also provide you with suggestions on how to improve your oral health and answer any questions that you might have.


At National Dental, we utilize digital X-rays for imaging. X-rays are not taken at every appointment, usually only during a comprehensive exam or a limited exam, but they are essential to your health file. They allow us to assess the condition of your mouth in areas that we cannot directly see, such as between your teeth, the roots of your teeth and your jawbone. X-rays are invaluable for diagnosing issues in the early stages, helping to take preventative measures and prevent serious complications.

With a thorough dental exam, oral health problems can be spotted, and treated, before they become serious. Contact National Dental Douglaston at (718) 557-9882 to schedule yours today!