According to the Canadian Dental Association, about 80 percent of Canadians visit their dentist at least once each year for a regular dental checkup. However many people have little to no idea what is actually happening in their mouth while they’re in the dental chair. Whether it’s a first-time visit, or you haven’t had a dental exam in a while, you may be wondering how your appointment will go.
What happens during your dental checkup?
A dental exam
The goal of the examination is to maintain your good oral health and to identify and prevent problems from becoming serious. During the exam, your dentist will check your face, neck and underneath your bottom jawline for any abnormalities (lumps, bumps or swelling). They’ll also inspect and do a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. They’ll discuss any problems you’ve been experiencing, such as toothaches, sensitivity, or cosmetic concerns as well as put together a personalized treatment plan designed to improve your oral health.
Since the majority of problems with your teeth and the jawbone are not visible to the naked eye, your first dental appointment will most likely include new X-rays. X-rays play a key role in providing a more accurate look at what is really going on inside your mouth and below your teeth and gums. By using X-rays, your dentist can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, decay between the teeth and check for any bone loss.
A thorough cleaning
Prior to sitting in the chair, it is important that your dental care team knows about any health concerns, anxieties, or allergies you may have in order to avoid any mishaps and to make sure you get the kind of care you need. Before anything is done inside your mouth your hygienist will need to know about your medical history if this is your first appointment at the dental practice, if you have been to the practice before, any changes in your health (i.e. new medications, pregnancy, etc).
Scheduling your next appointment:
According to the Canadian Dental Association, you should be visiting the dentist twice annually for routine hygiene appointments. To maintain a proper oral regime or if further dental treatment is required (i.e. filling a cavity, removing a wisdom tooth, or repairing a broken crown — you should make an appointment before leaving the office.
When you’re a patient at Sunset Dental, rest assured that you’ll be treated with the compassion and respect you deserve. Our practice believes in providing comprehensive care that addresses all your dental needs and promises to provide an honest environment where it all comes down to great care.
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A version of this post was first published on Altima Dental Blog