Dentists recommend a dental exam once every six months. They may increase the frequency of routine dental checks for patients with ongoing oral health issues. The purpose of a dental exam is to monitor the health of the entire oral cavity. This includes the teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth. Dentists use these…
What Services are Provided at a Dental Cleaning and Check-up?
Routine dental cleanings and checkups are essential for excellent oral health. It gives the dentist the chance to identify anomalies in the oral cavity and prevent issues from worsening. Most dental issues are easily corrected if detected early, and the dental cleaning done by the dentist can prevent the development of certain issues. This article talks about the services that are provided at a routine dental exam.
Available dental services
The general dentist, together with one or more dental assistants, will handle the dental cleaning and examination process. Some of the services they provide include the following.
Evaluation of medical history
Upon getting to the dentist’s office, patients will need to answer some questions that will help the dental professional learn more about their oral health. They will need to provide information about current medications, preexisting conditions, allergies and habits like smoking or alcohol intake.
The dentist needs to know if the patient is receiving treatment for any medical condition. After getting answers to these questions, the dentist will ask about previous dental procedures, surgeries and experience with sedation or anesthetics. With the information, the necessary steps can be taken toward creating an effective treatment plan.
X-rays and physical examination
After gathering necessary information, the dentist will proceed to make a comprehensive exam of the teeth, jaw, gums and other supporting structures. X-rays are an important part of this process as it helps the dentist discover dental issues that are not visible to the naked eyes. With the result, the dentist can determine if the patient is at the risk of future dental issues as well.
X-rays are not necessary at every dental exam – only when needed. Although the radiation from dental x-rays is low, patients can discuss any concern they have about radiation exposure with the dentist.
During the dental appointment, the dentist will clean plaque and tartar that have formed around the teeth and gum. Dentists may use ultrasonic cleaning tools during the dental cleaning. After removing the tartar, the dentist will polish the tooth and recommend good brushing and flossing techniques to help patients maintain good oral hygiene. Follow up dental cleanings are usually recommended every six months.
Oral cancer screening
The growing number of oral cancer cases has led many dentists to include oral cancer screenings during dental cleanings and checkup. Oral cancer is a life-threatening issue and can develop in different ways. Early detection increases the chances of successful treatment. Dentists will examine the oral cavity (including the soft tissues and jaw area) for early signs of the condition.
After the dental cleaning and checkup, the dentist will take the time to discuss their findings and concerns. They will recommend how often to visit the dental office and steps on how to take care of the teeth to prevent future problems.
Skipping dental appointments is not advisable when wanting to stay on top of oral health. Problems can start and worsen quickly if they are not detected on time. Regular visits to the dentist for a dental cleaning and checkup can help prevent dental issues that may cost time, energy and money.
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