HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED A DENTAL CHECKUP?
It is recommended that you attend two dental visits per year to receive a cleaning and checkup. If you have dental or oral issues, such as gum disease, a weaker immune system, or a genetic predisposition to develop cavities or excessive plaque build-up, it is recommended that you visit the dentist more often.
It is also important that you consider visiting the dentist during stressful times or when you are ill, as they events could cause infections to develop in your mouth. Visiting the dentist during these times could prevent any major oral damage. In rare instances, it is possible for you to maintain healthy teeth and gums for years without visiting a dentist or having any issues.
Biannual visits are recommended for three very important reasons:
- Early detection of tooth decay
- Detection of issues that you cannot feel or see
- Treatment of oral health issues that could cause overall health complications
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN AT A ROUTINE DENTAL CHECKUP?
Who will treat you for a dental check-up?
- A dental hygienist will conduct the initial oral examination of your teeth and gums, and note any changes to your oral or general health in your chart. The hygienist will then clean your teeth, floss them, and polish them, all the while discussing how to properly care for your teeth and gums at home, as well as answering questions you may have about at-home oral care.
- Following the hygienist's exam, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums, checking for oral cancer, signs of gum disease, decay, cavities, and more. The dentist will ask about your overall health condition and whether or not you are taking any medications. The dentist will look over the cleaning you received from the hygienist and make recommendations regarding any further treatments, if necessary.
What happens during a cleaning?
Brushing your teeth at home does remove plaque and tartar, as does flossing. However, only a professional cleaning has the ability to remove hardened plaque that builds up on teeth over time. The hygienist and the dentist will use special metal hand tools to clean your teeth, and in some cases ultrasonic scalers will be used to clean your gum line.
Why is polishing necessary?
Following the cleaning, the hygienist will polish your teeth, which helps to remove stains and plaque that have built up on the surface of your teeth. The polish is a combination of fluoride and an abrasive substance that is applied to your teeth with a rotating brush or rubber cup.
What will be discussed about prevention?
In a routine exam, your dentist will discuss what you can do to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. Both your hygienist and dentist will provide you with a list of instructions that you can follow at home. You can also ask questions you have regarding the proper way to brush and floss your teeth and how to care for your gums.
When are x-rays necessary?
X-rays are not always taken during a routine dental exam. Your need for x-rays will be dependent on the physical exam conducted by the hygienist and dentist, as well as your risk for developing cavities, and your dental history.
What recommendations are typically made?
There are times when you will need to return to the dentist's office sooner rather than later. If your dentist notes any problems during the exam you will be given a list of recommendations for what needs to be done next. This might include a return visit to have more dental work, an appointment for additional testing, or a referral to a specialist that can provide you treatment.
To schedule an appointment with our staff to discuss your oral and dental hygiene care, book your appointment online or call the Sydney Dentist Clinic at (02) 8279 2282.