Understanding What Goes On During Your Regular Dental Checkups
Find a Doctor
When you go in to see a dentist, your regular dental checkup will likely include a cleaning, x-rays, and oral exam. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having your teeth cleaned regularly, around once or twice a year. We understand that many patients are wary of dental checkups due to fear of receiving bad news or that they will feel pain from the cleaning. It is a priority for us to ensure that each patient understands what goes on during their appointment, and that they are reasonably comfortable with the work we will be doing. Always keep in mind that our motivation is to see that you have the most healthy oral hygiene as possible.
Reviewing Medical History
At every visit, the dental technician can review your medical history and see if anything has changed since your last exam. If you were diagnosed with a serious condition or are taking medications we should be aware of, please notify us before we begin. A dentist can do a visual exam of your gums, teeth, and mouth with the assistance of an explorer instrument. We will look for inflammation, gum recession, decay, and other symptoms that could be something serious is developing.
There are multiple methods a dentist may use to diagnose dental problems, including x-rays, visual exam, intra-oral images, and oral cancer screenings. It is important that if you are experiencing any pain, that you notify your dentist during the exam. Sometimes, patients get shy in the moment and may forget or shrug off what they think are minor symptoms. But even a slight toothache or jaw tension could prelude to an issue that must be addressed before it can worsen. During an exam, there isn’t a concern that is too small to share.
Oral Cancer Screening
Whether you realize it or not, your dentist is probably conducting a screening exam for oral cancer before you leave the office. A dentist may take a visual look at soft tissue of the mouth, gums, tongue, and cheeks for odd lumps, discoloration, ulcers, and lesions. However, just an exam on its own cannot conclude whether a bump or mark is cancerous. If anything peculiar is found, your dentist can investigate further by taking a biopsy or forwarding you to an oral surgeon. Patients who have a history of oral cancer, use alcohol regularly, or tobacco of any kind may be at an increased risk for developing cancer of the mouth.
When booking your appointment with us for a routine exam, deep cleaning, x-rays, or something else, please let us know if you are having any symptoms. While visiting the dentist isn’t always the most comfortable experience, it is a crucial component of addressing our overall health. Let us help keep your gums and teeth pristine by visiting our office very soon. Please contact us today to schedule your appointment with a gentle and knowledgeable dentist.
Wikipedia, Dental Care