Struggling with tooth decay? Continue reading to learn more about how tooth decay occurs and how it can be addressed. Almost everyone experiences some level of tooth decay at one point or another throughout life. It is unfortunately something that is difficult to prevent. However, having an understanding of what causes tooth decay may be…
What to Expect During a Dental Check-Up
If you have not had a dental check-up in a long time, you might not know what to expect. Read on to discover what happens during a dental check-up. Oral health is important, not just for your mouth, but for your overall wellbeing, too.
The dental check-up procedure
When patients get to the dental office, they have their complete health history taken. The dentist will also need to know if there have been any changes since the last appointment. Here are processes to expect during the appointment:
A dental check-up will usually include a thorough dental cleaning performed by the dentist or dental hygienist. With dental tools, the dental professional will scrape the teeth and gums to removing accumulated plaque and tartar, which are the leading causes of oral issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. The teeth may also be flossed and polished.
A complete examination
The dentist will continue the check-up appointment by examining every part of the oral cavity, including the teeth, gums, and mouth, for signs of oral issues. The primary aim is to identify problems in their early stages and treat them before they become worse. The exam may also include an x-ray scan.
If the dentist deems it necessary, patients will undergo an x-ray scan. This will reveal issues such as impacted teeth, tooth abscess, jawbone damage, cysts or tumors, tooth root damage, and decay between the teeth. The radiation from x-rays used in modern dental offices is insignificant. The dentist will take necessary precautions by having their patients wear lead aprons. Unless there is an emergency, pregnant patients will not need an x-ray.
The most common form is the panoramic x-ray, which provides a full image of the upper and lower jaw in one shot. This allows the dentist to check for bite alignment, as well.
Oral cancer screening is also part of the dental check-up. The dentist will examine the neck, lymph glands, and the oral cavity for any sign of oral cancer. If they suspect anything, they will take tissue samples for a biopsy.
The dentist will inform the patient immediately if they discover signs of a dental issue. This may mean recommending a dental procedure and scheduling follow-up appointments. For instance, if a tooth has decay or cavities, a dental filling will be needed to restore the tooth.
If the patient has healthy gums and teeth, another appointment may not be required for another six months. However, if the dentist has recommended a dental procedure, patients should remember to book an appointment before leaving. The dental check-up is also a chance to ask questions about oral health care.
The bottom line
Visiting the dentist for a dental check-up at least every year is important for oral health. It ensures dental issues are caught and treated early. It will also prevent minor issues from worsening to the point where expensive procedures are required. To get started, contact our dental office to book an appointment.
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