At-home oral care is important when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. This alone, however, is not enough. You still need to incorporate dental checkups as a part of your dental care routine. Here, your teeth and gums will get advanced care which you may not be able to give them at home. Despite this, most people will avoid going for dental checkups whether due to anxiety or just negligence. Learning more about the procedure may help to alleviate any fears and sensitize you on the importance of one. Here is what you need to know and expect during routine dental checkups.
Dental checkups should not be a substitute for good oral hygiene. You still need to take care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing daily in preparation for your dental checkup. Dental checkups are only supplements to the personal dental care that you do at home. Before going in for the check-up, you should also call in and schedule an appointment so that the dental clinic can prepare for you. In the meantime, you could also educate yourself on routine dental checkups and compile your dental history.
Taking Your History
Before the dentist can take any further actions, they will first need to ask you some questions that will help them collect information about your general and dental medical history, current medications, lifestyle, etc. This is especially if you are visiting a particular dental clinic for the first time. If you are a returning patient, they can easily pull up your records from their system. You are however obligated to let the dentist know of any changes that might have occurred from the last visit. This could be anything from new medical conditions such as diabetes to pregnancy. This is also your chance to air out any concerns or dental fears so that the dental team can take the necessary steps to make you comfortable.
After the dentist has collected enough information, they will move on to the next step. This may involve several parts one of them being dental cleaning. The dentist with the help of a dental hygienist will give your teeth and gums a thorough cleaning using professional tools. This will remove any plaque and tartar that may have built up on the teeth and below the gum line. Even with regular brushing, plaque can still build up on the teeth making dental cleaning important as this can have bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
The hygienist will also floss between the teeth to get rid of stuck food particles. You will also get your teeth polished which involves smoothening out of the tooth surfaces. This will help to brighten your teeth as well as making it harder for plaque to get stuck on them before the next visit.
A dental examination forms the other part of a dental checkup. Here, the dentist will carefully examine the mouth for any dental problems. This involves symptoms of gum disease such as bleeding, swelling, and redness among others. They will also ensure that the teeth are firmly attached to the gums and that there aren’t any large spaces or pockets between them which may also indicate gum disease. They will also look out for any signs of tooth decay and cavities. Any issues found will be addressed to prevent them from worsening.
Your dentists may also choose to include an x-ray depending on what they find from the examination. This will help them get a better look at detected issues. The dentists can also have you undergo an x-ray if you have not had one in a while. This way, they can pick up on problems such as bite issues, infections, tumors, and others that may not be visible to the naked eye. They will then examine the results and take the necessary steps.
Results and Recommendations
At the end of the dental checkup, the dentists will sit down with you to discuss the results of your examination. Depending on what is found, the dentist may schedule another appointment to follow up on certain issues or refer you to a specialist. They will also advise you on how to better care for your teeth while at home. At this point, you may also schedule your next dental checkup which should be six months from then.
You do not have to wait for emergencies for you to see a dentist. Even as you make a point of observing personal oral care, professional cleaning and examination is the best way to protect your teeth and gums from developing severe problems in the long run.