A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by the dentist at your initial dental visit. At this appointment the dentist and hygienist will gather information that will be used to diagnose the state of your oral health. Areas of diagnostic gathering include: X-rays – Evaluate for decay, tumors, cysts and bone loss detections in and around your teeth; x-rays are the best way to determine if decay exists in the space between your teeth that cannot be seen by the dentist looking in your mouth Oral cancer screening – Evaluate the lower face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, other oral tissues and gums for any signs of oral cancer Gum disease evaluation – Evaluate the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease Examination of tooth decay – Visually explore and exam all the teeth, as well as any existing restorations, for decay Periodic dental exams follow the initial comprehensive dental exam where diagnostic information previously collected is reviewed and updated based on any new findings.