Essential Things That Happen During a Dental Checkup
Experts recommend that everyone visits their dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Many people skip these preventive appointments, reasoning that they are really not that important. In fact, they are essential! They can play a key role in helping you maintain your oral health, save money, and protect your overall well-being. A dentist in Carrollton is here to explain how a dental checkup usually proceeds and how each part of it is beneficial for you.
X-Rays (If Necessary)
Many dentists periodically order X-Rays for their patients, even if there are no outward signs or symptoms of an oral health problem. X-Rays are important because they can alert the dentist to issues beneath your gumline or in the tight spaces between the teeth. For example, X-Rays can reveal early signs of decay or infection. They are also vital for patients whose wisdom teeth are stuck partially or fully beneath the gumline. Such teeth do not always cause problems, but dentists still want to keep a close watch on them.
Cleaning and Polishing
You may have an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine that involves twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing. You deserve commendation for that. However, did you know that at-home oral hygiene is often not enough to maintain a clean mouth? If you miss a spot or two of plaque when you are brushing, it can harden into tartar, which is impossible to remove with at-home tools. Only a trained professional has the equipment and skills to do that. The cleaning also includes polishing, which removes plaque and stains from the surface of teeth.
During your cleaning, your hygienist might offer you some friendly advice on how to improve your at-home habits. For example, they may coach you on proper flossing technique or recommend that you start using certain products. You should feel free to ask them any questions you have. If they cannot provide you with an answer, they will pass your questions along to your dentist.
Oral Cancer Screening
It is standard procedure in most dental offices to perform a quick oral cancer screening during checkups. A member of your dental team will look for odd lumps, discoloration, or other warning signs in or around your mouth. If they notice any cause for concern, they will help you to arrange for further testing.
Exam and Treatment Recommendations
During your exam, your dentist reviews any X-rays that were taken and performs a visual examination of your teeth. Then, they will recommend your next steps for maintaining or improving your oral health, whether that involves restorative treatment or simply booking your next checkup.
Preventive dental care is a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile and a healthy body! If it has been more than six months since your last checkup, now is the time to schedule an appointment.
About the Author
Dr. Kimberley Capua is a 1989 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. She has lived and worked in Carrollton for nearly 30 years. She stays up to date in her field by regularly participating in continuing education courses. As a strong advocate of preventive care, she encourages her patients to visit her at least once every six months for a checkup and cleaning. To learn more about Dr. Capua and her services, contact our team at 972-418-1811.