What Happens During a Dental Check-up?

Dental Check-upPlenty of people have an irrational fear of the dentist due to bad experiences in the past, horror stories from other patients and many other reasons. However, dental check-ups are not nearly as uncomfortable as some make them out to be. Those who take the time to obtain an understanding of what happens during a dental check-up find their dentist appointment is nothing to fear. Below, we delve into what happens during the typical dental check-up to provide prospective patients with a better understanding of why dental check-ups are necessary and why they should not be feared.

What Happens First During the Dental Check-up?

Ideally, your dental check-up will happen once every six months. The purpose of this check-up is to clean the teeth and gums, gauge their health, preserve their integrity and prevent potentially painful issues from arising in the future. The first step is to provide your full health history so the dentist and dental hygienists are aware of your current status as well as prior surgeries, health conditions and so on. If your health status changes as time progresses, be sure to update your dentist as soon as possible.

Dental Check-up: The Cleaning

A comprehensive cleaning of your teeth and gums is performed during the dental check-up. This is performed by the dental hygienist or the dentist. These oral health professionals use specialized instruments to scrape below the gum line and eliminate accumulated plaque and tartar that has the potential to lead to cavities, gum disease, halitosis and beyond. The cleaning might also include a flossing and polishing of your teeth to boot.

Why X-rays are Used During Dental Check-ups

The dentist might recommend X-rays. However, the patient's age, symptoms and risks of disease must be considered before the decision to take X-rays is made. X-rays will diagnose issues that otherwise would have likely gone unnoticed like damage to the jawbone, abscesses, impacted teeth, tumors, decay between the teeth and cysts.

Do not fear an X-ray. The contemporary dental office has X-ray machines that emit little radiation. Be sure to inform your dentist if you are pregnant. Pregnant women should only be X-rayed in emergency situations. The dentist might request a Panoramic X-ray. This is a type of film that provides a full view of the patient's lower and upper jaw in one picture. This image helps the dentist better understand the patient's bite as well as the relationship between teeth, the arch and other relevant aspects of the mouth.

The Dental Check-up’s Comprehensive Examination

The dentist will perform an examination of the teeth, gums and mouth. The purpose of this examination is to pinpoint indications of disease or other oral health problems. Catching these issues early allows for quick treatment and possibly an avoidance of an even worse oral health problem as time progresses.

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