It’s always sad when someone let their oral health deteriorate until it becomes so painful that it impacts the quality of their life. Poor dental care can lead to more serious infections and diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It’s crucial to visit your dentist at least every six months to support a healthy oral environment that goes hand in hand with good health overall.
What Happens at a Dental Checkup?
A regular dental checkup includes:
Checkup or Examination
Initial screening will be required for your dentist to make a thorough examination. Your dentist will be looking for many things in order to detect cavities during the exam. After this, some diagnostic films may need to be ordered through your dentist. Your gum pockets will be evaluated; your teeth and gums will be measured with a tool called a probe which is a millimeter ruler and the depth of each pocket space around any teeth can be recorded. If you have healthy gums, then there’ll be no bleeding on probing. Gingivitis is an active disease process that indicates inflammation of the gum tissue and it’s important to cure it before someone else becomes infected. Your tongue, face, throat, neck, jaw, and head will also be examined in order to identify any signs of cancer or swelling.
Scaling and Cleaning
Your dentist or dental hygienist will first scale your teeth and remove any layers of tartar on your teeth at and below your gum line. If there is significant buildup around the teeth, more than one appointment may be needed to complete your cleaning. Your type of cleaning has a diagnosis name which basically is one, prophylaxis (routine cleaning) two, a debridement (basically a medium cleaning), and lastly root planing and scaling which is also known as deep cleaning.
Root planing and scaling are when one needs to deep clean the teeth due to hardened deposits or extensive bone loss due to bacteria in various locations. After you’ve been properly diagnosed with “The Cleaning”, your teeth will be polished with toothpaste to remove all stains caused by eating food with stains such as spinach. Finally, dental floss is used to make sure the gaps between your teeth are clean with no plaque buildup.
Why Do You Need a Dental Checkup?
1. To Prevent Plaque, Tartar, Cavities, and Tooth Decay
There are many places you cannot reach in your mouth without special tools to brush and floss. Areas such as molars and the sides of your cheeks can collect plaque and lead to gum disease and decay, but with regular dental care, these problems can be prevented. If you have a problem detected during your checkup, your dentist will begin treatment right away.
2. To Detect Oral Cancer
With regular checkups, your dentist can identify oral cancer in its early stages, which is the most common reason for successful treatment. By evaluating your teeth and gums with an oral cancer check-up, dentists can perform a VELscope exam that uses light to check for signs of tumors.
3. To Prevent Gum Diseases
If not treated at an early stage, plaque and tartar buildup will cause gum infection. Medical check-ups such as regular dental visits include detection of problems with gums or symptoms.
4. To Find Problems Under the Mouth Surface
When it comes to your dentist, they will recommend that you have a routine check-up each year. Your dentist can diagnose issues like tooth decay, jawbone damage, and cysts before the problems get worse. Early detection is key when it comes to treating oral health.
5. To Check Head, Neck, and Lymph Nodes
Dental professionals will check for swelling, thyroid abnormalities, lumps, or other potential problems with your throat and neck. I
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