Have your teeth checked regularly..
A standard dental checkup should take place every six months, and any additional procedures such as fillings or root canals, for example, require you to make additional appointments at later stage. This is because many of these procedures take longer than the time allotted to a checkup. They may even required preparation time on the part of the dentist, or time between appointments for the dental laboratory to manufacture crowns and dentures, among other fittings. Consequently, if your dentist finds any problems during the checkup, be prepared to visit him again in the near future.
At the routine checkup, the procedure is fairly simple. Generally, when reporting to the dentist’s receptionist, you are required to update your personal details and then wait to be called into the consulting or surgery room.
Once in the dentist’s chair, you are hoisted up and backward into a reclining position, and a light is positioned above you to afford the dentist the best view of your entire mouth. This is when you will be ask to relax – and open your moth wide!
The dentist will take a careful look at different parts of your mouth. He usually starts with your teeth, looking for any visible signs of disease. Then, taking a probe, he examines the surfaces of your teeth, keeping an eye out for any discolouration, soft spots and cavities.
Next he looks at the gum area to see if there are any signs of infection or recession, or bad deposits of plaque or tartar. He also looks for any lesions that might indicate more serious disease such as cancer, although these are rare. Overall, the dentist is assessing the quality of the gum tissue. Then, finally, he checks your tongue and palate to ensure they are healthy.
All of these procedures are completely painless; good news for those who avoid the dentist for most of their lives out of fear!
The next step is X-rays that are really quite quick and easy, although they may cause a little discomfort. This is because the X-ray plates are placed inside your mouth, and you have to bite down on them to hold them in place while the X-ray is taken. From time to time they may feel uncomfortable, or may press on your gums or teeth. However, they take only a couple of seconds each, and are important for your dentist to be able to see cavities in your teeth, as well as the state of each tooth in its entirety, and the bone.
Once your dentist has checked the X-rays, his assessment of your oral health is complete. Should you have no problems requiring treatment, he simply cleans and polishes your teeth and says goodbye until six months later. If you do have any disorders such as caries or gum disease, you will still go through the cleaning and polishing. However, your dentist will also spend some time with you outlining the treatment plan and discussing your options.