Regular dental check-ups are an essential aspect of maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will be glad that you have taken the first step, considering their mission is to create healthy, strong smiles for their patients. Ideally, dental appointments are done every six months to help the teeth become whiter and cleaner, as well as prevent problems from occurring.
So, what happens during new patient check-ups?
The dental appointment is mainly focused on understanding your mouth, your oral health, and overall well-being. Your comfort is the main priority and the people at the dental clinic will ensure that your time there is as comfortable and smooth as possible.
During the exam, you will undergo an oral cancer screening, including an examination of the inside of your mouth, neck, and jaw. The dentist Morayfield will also review the x-rays of your teeth to evaluate your oral health.
This initial dental examination usually takes about an hour, which is useful for your dental team when identifying issues such as cavities and gum disease. The dentist will create a treatment plan based on your exam. The dental professional will discuss various options with you, or if you need to see a dental specialist.
Know that you may not get teeth cleaning at your first dental visit. A cleaning may be recommended when the dentist ensures that it is the right treatment for your dental health. It is important because cleaning is not an appropriate treatment for some conditions. As soon as your dental health has been stabilized, you are likely to receive both your cleaning and check-up at the same time.
In general, you need to provide these details:
- Your contact information as well as emergency contact details
- Overall health history (medications you are taking, allergies, and health issues)
- Dental Insurance
How does dental x-ray work?
After completing your paperwork, a dental staff will perform a digital x-ray of the mouth. X-ray imaging helps detect jaw bone concerns, tooth decay, tooth cracks, gum disease, and other indications of oral health problems. The process is quite fast and painless. Your dentist will make sure you are safe and comfortable during the whole time.
X-rays comprise mages captured with the use of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. The skin and organs are soft, low-density tissues that are unable to absorb radiation, passing only through the tissue. On the other hand, the teeth and bones are harder and denser materials in the body that can easily absorb radiation. This absorption can be turned into images using digital sensors or special film.
This makes dental x-rays extremely important to dentists, as this allows them to look deeper than the surface of the mouth. For example, most decay develops between the teeth, and a visual exam alone can miss a lot of this potential decay. However, an x-ray can reveal more such as beneath a tooth crown.
If your mouth has no tooth decay or gum disease and is generally healthy, the dentist will likely perform x-rays only once in a while. But, if you have dental health issues, you need to have x-rays more frequently.
What is a comprehensive oral examination?
Comprehensive exams go beyond teeth cleaning. These include a thorough patient examination that covers dental screenings, gum health, diagnostic exams, and pre-existing conditions to ensure optimal oral health. As a patient, a comprehensive exam is beneficial to you for accurate diagnosis and good dental care.
It typically starts with an inspection of the head, facial structures, neck, and lymph node palpation the neck. The dentist will examine your jaw joint for proper function and determine the condition of your muscle attachments, glands and gland duct openings, soft and hard palates, tongue, lips, and insides of your cheeks.
When it comes to examining the teeth, the dental professional will chart the number of your existing teeth, teeth positioning, any restorations or fillings, discolorations, and any teeth missing, defective, or broken. They will look at the status of decay and tooth alignment. If you have teeth replacement such as fixed crowns or removable dentures, they will also assess their function and condition.
A complete dental health examination also inspects the teeth support; bone and gums. Your dentist will look at the texture, contour, consistency, and color of your gum tissue. This includes examining:
- Any recession of the tissue
- There is bleeding of the gums
- If there is an increase of periodontal pockets around the teeth
- Any redness and swelling
- Signs of gum disease
The comprehensive exam also needs an evaluation of recent dental x-rays (radiographs) to be able to complete.
Dental care treatment and cleaning recommendation
There are usually separate visits for dental exams and cleaning for new patients. This enables the dental team to perform a thorough review of your health to help determine the type of cleaning suitable for your case. After the exam, the dentist will recommend the right path forward, including the type of professional cleaning. In addition, they may discuss any other treatments that may be necessary, depending on what they see during your exam.
This may include:
- Crowns or root canals
- Dental fillings
- Dental implants
- Gum disease treatments
With regard to your cleaning, the clinic will ensure your maximum comfort. Professional cleaning helps prevent and treat gum disease. Your dentist can give you advice on how to maintain good oral hygiene between appointments for healthy teeth and gums.
It is normal for your gums to bleed, considering it has been a long time since your last cleaning. Your next visit should have less bleeding with proper brushing and flossing. After all, modern techniques make dental treatments fairly comfortable.
Your opportunity to ask questions
The purpose of going to the dental clinic is to understand your oral health and everything that is going on during your visit. With this, it is essential to feel comfortable talking to your dental professional, expressing concerns, and asking questions as you discuss your treatment options.
Here are some questions you may ask your dentist:
What are the proper brushing and flossing techniques?
How can I prevent cavities and gum problems?
What cosmetic treatments will help enhance the appearance of my smile?
What are my options for replacing missing teeth?
What are the differences between implants, bridges, veneers, and crowns?
Why am I experiencing dental pain?
In general, dentists are there to help so do not wait until you feel pain. Make sure to visit a dental office for a regular checkup.