What Should You Expect At A Dental Visit? Most important, make sure you find a dentist with whom you are comfortable. After that, you should make an appointment for a check-up. This needs to be done before problems come up.
The first time a dentist sees a patient, they will want a full history of your health. On follow-up visits, be sure to let them know if anything has changed with regard to your health.
Most of the time, dental appointments are just for check-ups. Ideally, you should go every six months. This will help keep any bigger problems from developing and your teeth will be able to stay cleaner.
A Thorough Cleaning
Most of the time, when you have a check-up you will also have a thorough cleaning. This will be done by either the dental hygienist or the dentist. To do the cleaning they will use specially-designed dental instruments to clean your mouth under the gum line so that all the tartar and plaque are removed. These are the substances that cause cavities, gum disease, bad breath and many other mouth problems. In addition, the hygienist or the dentist will also floss and polish your teeth.
A Full Examination
The dentist will also thoroughly check your mouth, gums and teeth trying to see if there is any disease or other problems going on. It is the dentistís goal to keep your mouth healthy and to make sure any small problems do not become big ones. This is done by finding and taking care of potential problems quickly.
Sometimes the dentist will suggest that you have X-rays done. It will probably depend on your symptoms, disease risk, and your age. These tests can help diagnose any problems that might not be visible to the eye such as impacted teeth, cysts or tumors, damage to the jawbone, abscesses and any decay that might be happening between the teeth. When you have an X-ray in a dental office you should wear a lead apron. Todayís dental X-rays do not have any more radiation than if you spent some time in the sun or watching television, but it is always better to be safe. Also, if you are pregnant you should be sure to let the office know. In that case, X-rays are only used if there is an emergency.
Sometimes the dentist will order a Panorex or Panoramic X-ray. This is a type of X-ray that will give a comprehensive view of both the lower and upper jaw in one image. It helps the dentist analyze your bite and how your arch and the different teeth relate to each other.
How Long Should I go Between Visits?
Generally, if your gums and teeth and healthy, you only need to go every three to six months. But if you need more treatment ñ to take out a wisdom tooth, repair a crown or fix a cavity ñ you need to arrange to see the dentist again before leaving his office. Also, do not forget to ask your questions during the visit because this is your chance to do so.