There are many reason why maintaining a consistent schedule with your dentist is a good idea. However, for many people, fear holds them back from making that appointment they know they really need to make. Just so everybody is on a level-playing field, here is what happens when you visit the dentist.
During your check up, the dentist (more than likely the hygienist) will:
- Check out the status of your oral health and hygiene
- Check to see if there is any evidence of tooth decay, root decay, and gum or bone disease
- Check to see if a tooth needs to be restored or even replaced
- Evaluate your bite and jaw, checking for any issues
- Do their best to remove any stains or deposits on your teeth
- Will show you how to use proper cleaning techniques for your teeth or dentures
- Take dental X-rays
- And if necessary, perform other diagnostic procedures
A check-up may also include counseling about diet, use of tobacco products and other lifestyle factors that can affect oral health.
Dental X-rays allow a dentist to see areas of your mouth the human eye is just not capable of seeing. There different kinds iof X-rays. They include, but are not limited to:
- Bitewing. This X-ray allows the dentist to see the crowns of the upper and lower teeth.
- Periapical. This X-ray allows the dentist to see the entire tooth; as well as surrounding bone.
- Occlusal. This X-ray allows the dentist to see the way the upper teeth and corresponding lower teeth fit together when the jaw is closed.
- Panoramic. This type of X-ray gives the dentist a broad view of the entire mouth.
- Cone beam computerized tomography. This type of X-ray provides a 3-D view so that the dentist can better gauge the spacing of teeth and adjacent structures.
X-rays aren’t always need during a check-up, but are a part of the process more often than not. Many patients ask about radiation exposure from the X-rays, but the truth is the exposure is so low, it’s not even worth worrying about. However, if you are still concerned, than ask one of our staff to help you understand how the X-rays really work.
Oral cancer exam
During the check-up, the dental pro will check your mouth for signs of oral cancer. They may feel the area under your jaw, the sides of your neck, and/or the insides of your lips and cheeks. They probably will also examine the sides of your tongue, and roof, and floor of your mouth.