Visiting the dentist for a dental check-up is essential for clean, healthy teeth. That is something most people are aware of, but the actual process itself may be shrouded in mystery for some. Being aware of the steps involved with a regular visit to the dentist can help people feel less stressed and more informed…
What to Expect During Your Dental Check-up
Many people avoid getting a dental check-up because they do not know what to expect from this important type of dental health maintenance appointment. Having someone check your mouth and the strange sounds from dental tools can reasonably cause stress and anxiety. However, to keep you comfortable and prepared for your dental check-up and cleaning appointment, getting more information about the process can help make it a smoother experience. It is important to keep up with dental check-up appointments for optimal oral health.
The dental check-up process
Before proceeding with any dental procedure, the dental team will need to learn about the patient’s medical and dental history. If the patient has been seen by this dentist's office before, they will need to talk about any changes to their health since the last visit, including diagnosed conditions, new medications, and pregnancy. The dentist needs to know about anxieties, allergies, and health concerns to avoid complications and ensure patients get the needed care.
After the patient shares their concerns and dental history, the dental professional will start by performing a dental cleaning. The process starts with removing accumulated plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. The dentist can reach all the mouth crevices that are often missed when brushing. They will also floss the teeth to remove any plaque or food debris between the teeth. The final part of the process is tooth polishing to remove any leftover residue and to make the teeth shiny.
After cleaning, the dentist will proceed to check if there are any issues in the mouth. The process involves using a metal probe with an angled mirror to see every part of the teeth and gums and check any soft portion of the tooth enamel or dentin. They will also be checking for any signs such as inflammation, mouth sores, or gum swelling. The gum pockets will be measured to determine whether gum disease is developing.
Dental x-rays are sometimes included in a check-up to see issues that are invisible to the naked eye. The resulting image shows every part of the teeth, from the crown to the roots and the jawbones. The dentist will use this to determine whether additional oral care recommendations are necessary. The radiation from dental x-rays is minimal, but patients can discuss their reservations with the dentist.
After completing the dental cleaning and exam, the dentist will share their findings with the patient and make suggestions regarding what to do. This could mean follow-up appointments for a procedure or home oral care habits to improve dental health.
When was your last dental check-up?
Before leaving the dental office, patients need to arrange another appointment in about six months. Even with good oral habits, it is better to have a dental professional examine the teeth since it makes it easier to catch any developing issue before they worsen. To get started, contact our dental office today to book an appointment.
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