What Happens During a Routine Dental Check-Up?

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Are you looking forward to your routine dental check-up? The answer may be no, however, after reading this article let’s hope the answer changes to yes. Have no fear, the goal of your routine dental check-up is to keep your oral health in check. Visiting the dentist regularly is key to maintaining your overall health. Even with keeping a good oral hygiene routine at home, regular trips to your dentist are essential so that your dentist can help identify and even prevent dental diseases.

Here’s what you can expect at your routine dental check-up:

  • One of the first steps of your check-ups will be an oral examination performed by your dental professional. They will collect your medical and dental history and answer any questions you may have. Then they will examine your entire oral cavity, documenting a wide range of dental characteristics including the number of teeth present, any visible signs of tooth decay (dental cavities), and any oral pathologies. They will also measure the depths of your gum pockets to determine the health of your gums. They will evaluate the level of your jaw bones to determine if any has been lost to gum disease. Plus, your dentist will check your bite and tooth alignment.
  • In addition to the oral examination, an oral cancer screening will be performed at each dental check-up. Detecting oral cancer early can help prevent further spread and even save your life! Your dentist will evaluate your tongue, mouth, head, neck, and jaw area for any signs or symptoms.
  • An important diagnostic tool used by dental professionals during a dental check-up is dental X-rays. Routine dental X-rays are necessary to help reveal dental cavities, oral abnormalities, tooth-supporting bone levels, impacted teeth, and much more information.
  • Once all the diagnostic information is collected by your dental professionals, they will go over all of the information and present you with all of the available treatment options, along with the risks, benefits, and alternative options to treatment. Any questions or concerns that you may have will be answered and your input will be valued.
  • Following the dental check-up, in the same visit you may be able to have your cleaning or deep cleaning completed. Teeth cleanings are necessary to keep your gums and teeth healthy and lower your risk of developing gum disease. Managing and preventing gum disease goes beyond just protecting your oral health, as researchers have consistently linked severe gum disease with several other systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more. Professional cleanings are
    essential to removing hardened dental plaque (tartar) buildup, which cannot be removed at-home with regular toothbrushing or flossing. Your teeth will be polished and surface stains will be removed.
  • After a dental cleaning, fluoride treatment may be recommended to help further lower your risk of developing tooth decay. Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been found to fight dental cavities and sometimes even stop them from spreading. It may be applied in the form of a gel, mouth rinse, foam, or varnish.
  • Another great part of dental check-ups is the professional dental home care advice. Your dentist or dental hygienist will go over proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as food recommendations, habits to break, and any other information specific to your oral health.

Overall, dental check-ups can be a comfortable breeze. If any oral health issues are found during your examination, your dental professionals will inform you of the next best steps.