Regularly visiting your dentist for a dental check-up is vital to preventive health care. The main aim of a teeth exam is to evaluate the teeth, gums, and the mouth in general to identify any abnormalities.
What is a Dental Exam?
A dental check-up is the first step in dental care. It is followed by a diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
It includes a close examination of the teeth and oral tissues. For this purpose, the dentist may utilize physical examination, radiographs, and other diagnostic aids.
How often is a Dental Check-up required?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should see your dentist at least once a year for a routine examination and cleaning.
On the other hand, if you have a history of periodontal disease, your dentist may advise you to have your teeth cleaned more frequently to prevent the recurrence of infections or diseases. Generally, the frequency of your dental exams and cleanings will depend on your individual needs and the status of your oral health.
Why Dental Exams are so Important?
You may not like to visit your dentist after regular intervals. Therefore, you will keep on thinking that why is there any need for a dental exam, even when you have completely healthy teeth?
Not many know that seemingly healthy teeth don’t indicate that your oral health is in optimal condition. Many dental health issues can crop up without any major preliminary signs and symptoms, causing great discomfort and pain later on.
Go through these reasons so you never miss out on your exam in the future:
Early Treatment of Gums Diseases
Your gums are not as durable as your teeth. Once they get infected by the formation of plaque or tartar, it will be hard to bear the pain and swelling. During dental exams, your dentists closely examine your gums and remove any tartar or plaque if present. In this way, you keep on treating your gum diseases at a very early stage and prevent your gums from pain, bleeding, and swelling.
Detecting and Treating Oral Cancer at Early Stages
Oral cancer is hard to treat as it usually becomes chronic and causes a lot of trouble for you. However, just like any other cancer, this too can be treated precisely if recognized at its early stages. During dental exams, a close examination of your teeth supported with x-rays and other technologies is performed. This will allow your doctor to check if you are having any symptoms of oral cancer.
Maintaining Proper Hygiene
Maintaining oral hygiene is the key to keeping your teeth healthy throughout your life. Some of you may not know how to properly clean your teeth. During dental exams, your dentists will teach you about regular deep cleaning of your teeth. This will be beneficial for your regular dental cleaning routine.
Main Parts of a Dental Examination:
A routine check-up has a few basic steps as follows:
A dental hygienist will clean your teeth using small, metal dental tools. This will include the use of a scraper to remove plaque and tartar build-up. The hygienist will follow by flossing your teeth. At times, they may also use a special electric toothbrush for brushing.
The process is often completed by applying a fluoride gel or foam to your teeth. The administration of fluoride treatments is more common in children than in adults. You will also receive instructions on proper tooth care techniques, such as brushing and flossing.
Firstly, the dentist will provide you with special coverings to shield your body from radiation. They will then have you bite down on a small piece of plastic. Placing a scanner outside your mouth, they will take a photograph while standing behind a protective shield or another area. During some x-rays, you may have to repeat this process by biting down in different areas of your mouth as directed by the dentist.
There are various types of dental x-rays. Your dentist may perform a full-mouth x-ray once every few years to assess your overall oral health. Another type, known as bitewing x-rays, may be used more frequently to detect cavities or other dental problems.
During a dental evaluation, the dentist will examine any recent x-rays for cavities or other problems. He will look at your teeth and gums to determine their condition. It also includes an examination of your bite, which is the way the top and bottom teeth fit together. In case of a bite issue, the dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.
To assess you for oral cancer, the dentist will feel under your jaw, the insides of your lips, the sides of the tongue, the roof and floor of your mouth, etc.
For children, a pediatric dentist may examine the child’s teeth to evaluate the progress of teeth development.
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