What a Dental Checkup and Cleaning Include

What a Dental Checkup and Cleaning Include

The dentist often does a dental checkup and cleaning to look for cavities or other teeth issues. That way, the patient can have a professional cleaning and exam every six months. Many times, patients do need to come in more often than that. That is true if the patient is at risk for an oral health concern. That could include gum disease. Continue reading to learn more about these regular visits.

Why it is necessary to have a dental cleaning every so often

During the cleaning appointment, the dentist will clean the teeth’s surfaces. Usually, flossing and brushing twice a day or more can control the plaque, which contains bacteria. Otherwise, cavities and gum disease could result. However, even the proper cleaning can leave something behind. That is why it is so essential to have a professional dental cleaning every so often. If any plaque remains, it might harden into tartar, which is hard to remove at home.

If the plaque, bacteria, or tartar have entered the tooth’s roots, the patient might need to have a deep cleaning. The periodontal cleaning involves using an ultrasonic device to break down the bacteria under the gumline. That is a more involved procedure. Therefore, the cleaning might require multiple visits for completion.

Why dental checkups are also important

During the dental cleaning, the dentist gets the teeth looking better. But the dental checkup is done after that. The dentist can look for early signs of problems like gum disease and tooth decay. The dentist can also find issues with the tissue itself.

That might indicate issues such as oral cancer. Sometimes, the patient might have an X-ray done to look at the gums and bone structure. That also helps the dentist see if there are any hidden cavities. It allows the dentist to get a more accurate look at how the patient’s health is doing.

If necessary, the patient can get a restorative treatment. That might include a root canal procedure, crown, or filling. The dentist can explain to the patient how the smile will get restored. That is a good time for the patient to ask any relevant questions about the procedure.

Educating the patient

During a regular exam, the dentist can see if there are any problems specific to that patient. That might include not brushing correctly or pressing down too hard. Then the dentist can use that information to make recommendations to the patient. It is a good time for the dentist to talk about the right kinds of toothpaste and flosses to use. In some cases, the patient might be recommended to use mouthwash, as well.

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