What Happens During a Routine Dental Check-Up?

Setting up a routine dental check-up should rank at the top of our list of priorities and to-do’s. It’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure you keep both your mouth and your body in the best of health.

Moving dental check-ups from to-do to must do

Why isn’t it up there? Usually it’s a question of work pressures and other demands on our available time. And some of us have grown up with an irrational fear of dentists. However, there are good reasons why neither of those excuses are valid. The time spent having a check-up is one of the best investments in avoiding pain, inconvenience and possible health issues down the line. And modern dentistry has numbed the noise, pain and fear of dentists that may have been generated by childhood, or your parent’s memories of dental visits.

The dental check-up process:

dental check-up process

A regular check- up should ideally be done every six months. Intervals may need to be closer if you are undergoing longer term dental treatment, or at risk of developing conditions that could threaten your health in the future. Preferably do not extend the gaps beyond a year, even if you feel your oral health is in perfect working order.

During the check-up a Vancouver dentist will conduct several investigations:

Checking for red flags for your general health:

As your dentist examines your mouth and teeth, he or she will be alert to any signs of major threats to your health. Many serious diseases, including pancreatic and oral cancer, diabetes, heart disease, strokes and even Alzheimer’s, have been shown to have links with oral health. Early detection and treatment can make a great difference to the outcome of these diseases.

Identifying future risks to your teeth and gums:

Your dentist knows what to look for when he checks your teeth. He or she is not looking only for what is wrong at present, but will also be alert to any indications that suggest tooth or gum problems in the future.  The more your dentist knows about your dental and general health history, the better. This will make it easier to predict future treatment needs, and what needs to be monitored for signs of deterioration. Be sure to inform your dentist of any changes in your health since the last visit, and of any medication you are currently taking.

Keeping you in the program:

Your dentist is up-to-date on what’s happening in both the dentistry treatment field and in preventative steps that can be taken to avoid future risks. Ask questions and listen to advice regarding how you can improve your oral hygiene regimen so as to avoid future dental problems.

Professional cleaning:

Doing our best to keep our teeth clean is at the core of our oral hygiene programs. However, sometimes it’s good to call in the experts. Teeth are designed as pulping and grinding implements. To function efficiently, nooks and crannies are part of their structure, like serrated blades in kitchen implements. These depressions and hollows, and the narrow gaps between our teeth, are difficult to clean completely if you don’t have professional equipment. So if your dentist or hygienist does a thorough cleaning, you will know that all the bacteria-friendly plaque and tartar are gone for a while.

X-Rays

might be recommended if your dentist suspects there might be problems that are hidden within the jawbone or in places in the mouth that are not easily examined with the naked eye. There are two types of X-Rays, one of which shows just a few teeth, and other larger ones which show the entire mouth as well as the bone structure around it.

Regular check-ups provide a chance for your dentist to really examine your teeth and mouth, and get a clear picture of where you stand in terms of oral and general health. If your only visits to the dentist are when you are writhing in pain and desperate for relief from it, your dentist does not have the same opportunity to focus on other areas and issues in the mouth. If you are due for a check-up, schedule one today.

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