What You Should Know About Your Regular Dental Check-Up
There are two people that you should make sure to see every 6 months: your insurance rep and your dentist. Just like your insurance needs can change, so can your dental needs, and it’s important to make sure you are staying on top of both of those needs.
A regular check-up with your dentist is one of the keys to maintaining good oral health. Having your teeth looked at regularly is the best way to identify any potential problems and deal with them before they become a major issue.
The first thing that will happen during your six-month dental check-up is that you will check in with the receptionist. You will provide your health and insurance information and then you will be called in for your appointment. Once you are in the dental chair, you will discuss your dental history and address any changes to your dental care routine or any concerns that you might have. If you have a sore tooth, have noticed blood when you brush your teeth or have started using whitening strips, it’s important to let your dentist know because the more information we have, the better prepared we are to spot any potential problems.
Keeping Your Teeth Nice and Clean
After you’ve discussed any potential concerns, the next step of your appointment will be the tooth cleaning. This is the main event of a routine dental visit. During a cleaning, the dentist will start by scraping off all the plaque and tartar that may have built up since your last visit and then applying polish to your teeth afterward, to help fight off plaque build-up between visits.
A professional tooth cleaning is important because even if you maintain excellent dental hygiene, there is only so much you can do at home. Regular brushing and flossing are important to maintaining good oral health, but they still aren’t a substitute for a professional cleaning because there will still be some plaque build-up and missed food particles. This is one of the reasons why regular dental visits are so important because the best way to keep your teeth healthy is to have them professionally cleaned.
Checking for Potential Problems
After your teeth have been cleaned, it’s time to make sure that they are healthy. It wouldn’t be a check-up, if you didn’t actually get your teeth examined, would it? During the examination, the dentist will use a small tool with a mirror attached so that we can see inside your entire mouth. We do this to make sure that the gums and teeth are healthy and that there aren’t any reasons for concern such as unusual gaps, swelling, redness, or mouth sores.
After the dentist is done examining your mouth, we may choose to do x-rays as well. The advantage to doing x-rays during a routine check-up is that it lets the dentist verify that everything is the way it should be. An x-ray is the best way for the dentist to get the whole picture because it shows more than just the visible parts of your teeth; an x-ray lets us see your whole mouth and jawline. If there are any problem areas developing under the gum line, an x-ray will reveal them and give the dentist the information to deal with it causes any major issues.
The dentist will then take a few minutes to look at your x-rays and then will follow up with you about the results. This will be the final step of your check-up. The dentist will discuss any concerns we might have based on your x-rays, or we may give you a clean bill of health, and ask you to schedule your next appointment before you leave.
If your check-up has revealed any areas of concern, however, the dentist will discuss them with you and make recommendations for the next step. Often, this will mean scheduling a follow-up appointment at a later date to do any required work. In addition to scheduling future appointments, we will also give you advice as to what you can do at home to maintain your oral health. It’s important that you listen to this advice if you want healthy, beautiful teeth. After all, your dentist always has your best interest in mind.
|About The Author
Dr. James Huang is a graduate of UC Davis (physiology), Notre Dame (Masters in Business Administration) and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Huang practices medicine at All-in-One Dental Innovations and provides high-quality dental service to the Bay Area.