Getting a dental checkup is one of the essential steps in your oral care routine. But you might wonder what you can expect during a checkup and cleaning. That way, you can make a more informed decision for your health. Keep reading to learn more about what the procedure involves.The dental hygienist and dentist will…
Why a Dental Check-up Is so Important
The idea of skipping routine dental check-up appointments may have crossed your mind. However, it would be best to read on to learn why this is not a good idea. These check-ups not only treat dental issues alone but also help prevent them from happening in the first place. Dental professionals generally recommend visiting the dental office every six months. If you have missed or purposely skipped dental check-ups, continue reading to discover why the appointments are essential for oral health and overall well-being.
The importance of a dental check-up
Dental professionals recommend two dental visits a year. Check-ups provide patients with professional dental cleaning and prevent future dental issues from developing. A regular dental check-up is also important for the following reasons:
Early detection of oral cancer
As with all forms of cancer, oral cancer is life-threatening, and the chances of successful treatment are higher when caught early. In addition, dentists have the experience, training, and tools to identify the early signs of oral cancer that patients may miss. The dentist will look over the inside of the patient's mouth to check for red or white patches, mouth sores, and other oral abnormalities. They may also examine the patient's throat or neck for lumps.
Clean plaque and tartar
Despite brushing and flossing regularly at home, there are areas of the mouth that are easily missed or inaccessible. These hard-to-reach areas accumulate plaque, which eventually hardens into tartar, also known as calculus. Once tartar forms, it is difficult to remove with a regular toothbrush. Since it is hard to prevent plaque from accumulating on the teeth and causing issues in the mouth, it is necessary to visit the dental office for regular dental check-ups and cleaning.
After the cleaning, the dentist will apply an abrasive substance and fluoride using a special rotating cup or brush. This device polishes the teeth and removes any remaining plaque and stains on the tooth surface. It also prevents tartar from accumulating as much between dental visits.
Cavity detection and treatment
When plaque and tartar stay too long on the teeth, they start eroding them, causing holes in the enamel called cavities. Developing cavities are easy to miss and have already caused damage once the patient begins to experience toothaches. Therefore, the dentist will check for cavities during the dental visit and recommend the appropriate dental restoration. These recommendations may include additional diagnostic tests, referring the patient to a dental specialist, or specific treatment, such as dental fillings or crowns.
Prevention of gum disease
In addition to contributing to tooth decay and cavities, tartar also compromises gum health. It can cause gum inflammation and eventually result in infection without the appropriate dental intervention. Gum infection can cause gum recession and eventual tooth loss. Patients may also experience gum swelling, soreness, and bleeding. Regular dental check-ups can prevent gum disease from further development and ensure early treatment if the condition is present.
Reduce bad oral habits
During the dental check-up appointment, the dentist will look for signs of bad oral habits, such as chewing ice, brushing too hard, teeth grinding, eating too much sugar, or smoking. These habits are detrimental to oral health and can cause permanent damage to the teeth. The dentist can provide tips to reduce or control these habits and adopt better oral health practices.
Discover hidden issues with x-rays
The dentist may recommend taking X-rays of the jaw and other oral structures during the dental check-up. This scan may help them discover issues that may not be immediately visible to the naked eye. Such problems can be quickly identified and treated, including cysts, tumors, decay, and swelling. The dentist will recommend how often the patient needs X-rays depending on their oral exam, dental history, and risk of developing cavities.
A routine dental check-up is not only for the dentist to clean the patient's teeth and recommend further treatment. It is also the opportune time for the patient to ask the dentist questions or tell them about recent medical history or changes. In addition, the patient should tell the dentist of any tooth sensitivity, present lumps or bumps, or any other oral health concerns. If the patient has dental anxiety or fear, those feelings of discomfort may prevent them from pursuing routine dental care. In that case, the dentist should know about it to ease the patient's anxiety, minimize pain, and make them feel more comfortable during regular dental care.
Ready to schedule a dental check-up?
Has it been a while since your last dental check-up? Routine dental check-ups are crucial for oral health and can save you a lot of money in future dental bills. Contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.
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