In addition to brushing and flossing on a daily basis, proper oral health involves going for regular dental check-ups. It is advisable to go for a dental check-up at least twice a year but you may be required to visit your dentist more frequently, depending on your oral health. The following article will cover what you can expect from a typical dental check-up.
Cleaning and Polishing
Your dentist will use equipment known as an ultrasonic dental instrument or a hand scaler to remove and scrape tartar from your teeth. After the tartar has been extracted, your dentist will use a rotating rubber brush to remove stains or plaque and polish your teeth.
Your dentist will examine your gums, teeth and mouth to check for any conditions such as gum disease, oral cancer or cavities. When examining your teeth, your dentist will use an explorer tool for poking your teeth to determine whether there are cavities. Your dentist may also use special equipment to check for pockets between your gums and teeth and a mouth mirror for getting a clear view of the hidden corners of your teeth.
In some dental checkups, your dentist may take X-rays to check for gum disease, decay and any other oral problems. Since X-rays expose you to radiation which can increase your risk of getting cancer, you should provide copies of previous X-rays when visiting a new dentist.
Recommendations and Education
After cleaning your teeth, your dentist will notify you about any problems that were detected and the appropriate treatment. For example, your dentist may advise you to have a wisdom teeth removal. Your dentist may ask you to use a fluoride solution or sealant to prevent tooth decay and cavities. If you have cavities or badly damaged teeth, your dentist may advise you to get dental crowns.
Furthermore, your dentist will instruct you on how to floss and brush effectively and what foods to eat to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
In some cases, like when you are visiting a dentist for the first time after a long duration of time, your dentist may conduct a thorough check-up also known as a comprehensive examination. During this check up, your dental practitioner will:
- Examine your head, neck and mouth
- Inquire about your medical history
- Conduct a series of X-rays
How to Get the Most from a Dental Check-up
If you are visiting a new dentist for a check-up, he/she will inquire about:
Medical history: Your dentist should know whether you are suffering from diseases such as heart disease or diabetes. These diseases increase your risk of suffering from gum diseases and may require a different type of anaesthesia or treatment approach.
Current dental health: Inform your dentist about your dental conditions such as sensitive teeth, a new cavity, bumps or lumps or other oral health problems. This will help your dentist in his/her diagnosis.
Dental fears: There are many pain management options that your dentist will suggest to you for easing your fears and making you comfortable during a dental check-up.