Routine Check Up
Dental appointments shouldn’t just be made when you have a problem that needs to be addressed. Prevention is always better than cure. Dentists recommend check-ups every twice a year. There are 2 parts to a regular dental visit; examination (check-ups) and oral prophylaxis (cleaning).
The first examination will be to check your teeth for cavities through an X-ray. The exam will also include a check for plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria. If it is not removed, it can harden and become tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, they can cause gum diseases.
Next, your gums will be checked. This will be done with a special tool to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces may become deeper.
The check-up should also include a careful examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck. This is to look for any signs of trouble – swelling, redness, or possible signs of cancer.
- Check for Cancer
This is one of the most important reasons for routine dental check-ups. Dentists will always check for any lumps that might indicate cancer in your mouth, head, and neck. They will also check for any red or white patches in the mouth. Usually, these checks will find nothing unusual, but they could potentially save your life.
2. Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists play an important educative and preventive role. They can show you correct home care and help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth (usually called a ‘scale and polish’) by removing plaque and tartar, both of which encourage tooth decay and gum disease.
3. Consultations About Dental Cosmetics
Although dental cosmetics have grown in popularity in the last couple of years, there are plenty of myths out there that can lead to confusion about what is safe, as well as issues of legality. A check-up is an opportune time to consult with your dentist about procedures such as teeth whitening.
4. Routine Check-Ups are Preventive
Examination helps identify issues that might be developing without you knowing. Potential problems such as the onset of gum disease and dental decay can be prevented before they can happen, saving your oral and overall health and possibly money. Frequent
5. Dentists Can Provide Help and Advice Specific to Your Needs
There isn’t anyone better placed to help you keep on top of your oral health than your dentist, so they should be your first port of call when it comes to concerns about your teeth and mouth. They can tailor advice and support specific to your needs over a long period.
The comprehensive exam will likely include these evaluations:
- Head and neck
This examination checks any swelling or tenderness (which are signs of an infection or disease) in your lymph nodes and salivary glands. Your dentist will also examine your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to make sure it rolls out properly.
- Soft tissue
The soft tissues of your mouth include the tongue, inside of the lips and cheeks. Others include the floor and roof of the mouth and back of your mouth. These areas are examined for any spots, lesions, cuts, swellings, or growths.
- Gum tissue
This is to check for any swelling, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums, which could be indicative of gum disease.
Occlusion is how well your upper and lower teeth come together will be checked.
- Clinical examination of teeth
This will usually be done through observing and X-rays to determine that the teeth and gums are in good health. Your dentist will also check for any problems with fillings, braces, bridges, dentures, crowns, or other restorations.