A dental exam keeps your teeth and gums healthy, and it reduces the number of dental visits that you need to make in the long run. Dentists typically recommend coming in for a check-up at least two times per year. This limits the time that any issues have to develop before the dentist detects and treats them.
People with existing dental issues, like periodontitis, might be asked to come in more frequently. The same goes for people who are currently getting treatments, like teeth straightening with braces or clear aligners.
What to expect during your dental exam
Dental exams give dentists a chance to evaluate the patient’s teeth and perform any necessary treatments. Here are a few things that typically take place during a dental exam.
1. Teeth cleaning
Teeth cleanings are important preventative treatments that involve removing tartar from teeth surfaces. Tartar builds up on teeth from plaque and promotes gum disease and tooth decay. A scaler is used to get it off teeth surfaces. The process does not cause the patient any pain, so there is no need to inject them with an anesthetic.
Teeth cleanings protect teeth against tooth decay and gum disease and improve their appearance. The procedure is sometimes used as a treatment for the first stage of gum disease, which is called gingivitis.
Dental examinations are also used to evaluate the patient’s teeth. The dentist checks for any changes since the person’s last visit and signs of developing dental issues. Dentists also screen for health issues like oral cancer. That includes collecting tissue samples and sending them to a lab for further examinations. Diagnostics like radiographs and X-rays can be used to help assess the patient’s teeth.
3. Preventative treatments
Routine check-ups also serve as opportunities to perform preventative treatments as needed. For example, if the patient is prone to tooth decay, a fluoride treatment or the application of dental sealants can be used to protect their teeth.
4. Corrective treatments
Dentists can often address any developing issues detected during the examination at the same visit. For example, teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay can be fixed with fillings while the patient is at the clinic. If time does not permit performing the treatment on the same day, the dentist will schedule a follow-up visit. Treating dental issues as soon as they are detected often saves the patient money and allows them to avoid the discomfort that the problem would have caused if it was allowed to linger.
5. Cosmetic treatments
Dentists also discuss cosmetic concerns with their patients during dental examinations. For example, a teeth whitening treatment can be used to whiten the patient’s teeth or a composite resin can be used to whiten a discolored tooth.
Take care of your mouth
In addition to brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist can ensure your good long-term dental health. When was the last time that a dentist took a close look at your mouth? Call or visit our Peoria clinic to schedule a check-up.
Request an appointment here: https://familydentistrypeoria.com or call Peoria Family Dentistry at 623-552-4665 for an appointment in our Peoria office.
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