What Happens During Routine Dental Checkups?
Dental exams are an integral part of maintaining your oral health, so if you’ve never had a dental exam or it’s been too long, we can advise you to act quickly for your next dental checkup. In this article, we talk about what to expect during dental checkups.
Why Should You Have Your Dental Checkups?
If you don’t have any problems with your teeth or gums, such as pain, excessive discoloration, gingival recession, or extremely dark spots, you may not feel the need to go to the dentist.
Dental exams should be considered as important as your annual physical and eye exam. This is because dental exams help catch oral health problems before they result in serious gum disease, loose teeth, and the need for tooth extraction. Here are a few reasons why you should have regular dental checkups:
.Captures gingivitis and periodontal disease early
Oral cancer tests can help detect oral cancer before it spreads.
.Let you learn how to improve your oral hygiene at home.
What Happens During Dental Checkups?
When you enter a dental clinic, you should expect a friendly staff to greet you and make you feel comfortable. At your first visit, you will be asked to fill out some new patient papers. After a short wait, you will be invited to the dental examination room, where you will meet first a dental hygienist and then a dentist.
Dental X-Ray and Oral Examination
During your dental exam, an X-ray and oral examination of your teeth and jaw will be done to determine if there are any problems such as caries, impacted teeth, infection, gingivitis or periodontal disease. If cavities or other oral health problems are detected, the dentist will discuss them with you, answer your questions and develop a treatment plan to restore your oral health. If you need cavities or additional treatments, these will be done after tooth cleaning.
The dental hygienist will clean your teeth. A paper napkin will be placed around your neck to protect your clothes and you will be asked to sit back and relax while your teeth are cleaned. The cleaning process involves scraping away all plaque, tartar and stains from your teeth and any tartar that has slipped under your gumline. You may notice that your gums bleed slightly, as the cleaning process involves scraping under the gumline. This is completely normal and all blood and saliva will be periodically removed from your mouth with a small suction device.
After all plaque and tartar has been removed, the dentist will polish your teeth using a little dental polish and a rotating brush. The polishing process helps to achieve a certain degree of gloss and makes the tooth surface slightly slippery for a short time so that food particles do not easily stick to the teeth.
If you need additional procedures such as filling cavities, testing for oral cancer or teeth whitening, these can be done at another visit after your teeth have been cleaned and polished. If you have questions about how to brush and floss your teeth properly, or what products to use to keep your teeth clean, the dentist can answer all your questions.
Schedule Your Dental Checkups Twice a Year
Most people should schedule a six-month oral exam to have their teeth and gums examined and to have their teeth cleaned and polished. Depending on your oral health history and medical history, your dentist may recommend more frequent dental cleanings and exams, or fewer exams. In general, those with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders may need more frequent examinations.
Those who do not have any pre-existing conditions or a family history of gum disease may need fewer dental exams.