Most of us have been told about the importance of keeping our oral hygiene healthy, but in today’s world we are perhaps busier than ever before. So, this means we may skip out on routine dental exams every six months while we attend to responsibilities. A dentist encourages patients to prioritize their dental health no matter how busy they are, to prevent serious and complex issues from developing. Aside from regular flossing and brushing, the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, is through regular dentist check-ups.
For those who haven’t been to a dentist is quite some time, here’s a refresher for what to expect during your dental exam:
A Review of Your Medical History
When you arrive at the dentist clinic, you may be asked a few questions or to fill out a questionnaire about your oral health first. You may be prompted to provide details about any medications you are currently taking, allergies, and whether you smoke. A dentist may inquire about medical conditions that you are managing, to ensure that any dental treatment doesn’t interfere. Then, your dentist can create a care plan based on the information you give.
X-Rays (If Needed)
If you haven’t gotten x-rays in a while, then this may be done prior to your dental cleaning. X-rays are used to look for dental abnormalities that cannot be seen with an external inspection. Your dentist will check for teeth that are overlapping, wisdom teeth that may be pushing their way up, or other issues brewing under the gum line. While protective gear will be offered to you, if you are concerned about exposure to radiation please notify your dentist or the assistance beforehand.
Thorough Dental Cleaning
During the dental cleaning, tartar and plaque will be scraped away that has formed on the teeth and gums. After removing the tartar, we will polish the teeth and floss for you. We may suggest flossing techniques to ensure you are getting between these areas everyday and that any food isn’t left to sit and turn into plaque. Plaque also contains bacteria, and can be a major contributor in gum disease and tooth decay.
Results and Screening for Oral Cancer
With the number of patients being diagnosed with oral cancer, may dental professionals have included oral cancer screenings during dental exams. Oral cancer that is caught early is more likely to be treatable. After the cleaning, your dentist will do an oral cancer screening by looking for or asking about the following symptoms:
- Thickening or lumps of the cheeks
- Red or watch patches on gums, lining of mouth, tongue and tonsils
- Mouth pain
- Sores or lesions in the mouth that won’t heal (ulcers)
- Persistent sore throat
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
Do not hesitate to contact a law office for more information about dental health. By calling a dentist in San Clemente, CA today, they can get you in for an exam, cleaning, x-rays, and oral cancer screening as soon as you are available.
Thanks to John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into dental care and what to expect during an exam.