What Happens During a Dental Exam?
Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, many Americans put off oral healthcare appointments due to anxiety. Knowing what to expect from a dental exam can be helpful.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam
A comprehensive dental exam is designed to prevent oral health issues, identify possible problems early on, and generally enhance the patient's oral healthcare habits. Here's what that entails.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
A dental hygienist will clean your teeth. They will remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can otherwise lead to gum disease. They will also floss between your teeth to remove plaque.
Finally, they will polish your teeth using a slightly abrasive toothpaste and a polisher featuring a spinning head. They may also apply a fluoride treatment to strengthen the protective enamel of the teeth.
Once your teeth are clean, the dentist can conduct a thorough examination. They will check your teeth and gums, using a tiny angled mirror to view the backs of teeth. Your dentist is looking for signs of problems, such as cavities or early-stage indications of gum disease.
When these issues are caught early on, they are much easier to treat. For example, a small cavity requires a filling. However, advanced tooth decay may need a root canal. Your dentist will also recommend periodic x-rays, for example, to check for decay between the teeth, and the health of tooth roots and underlying jawbone.
Discussion with the Dentist
Your dentist will discuss the results of your dental exam with you. If they find something of concern, they will recommend a care plan. They will also discuss your general dentistry routine and make recommendations for preventive care to enhance your overall health.
For instance, if you show signs of gingivitis (the early-stage precursor to gum disease), the dentist may recommend more frequent flossing or an anti-microbial mouthwash.
Comfortable Dental Checkups at Cedar Creek Dental
Don't let anxiety about dental exams deter you from getting your oral health checkup. At Cedar Creek Dental, we offer gentle and compassionate dentistry. Dr. Von Hoven will explain the process to you and answer any questions you have, ensuring a comfortable experience.
Call us at (618) 654-4551 to schedule your dental exam.