What Can You Expect during Routine Dental Exams and Cleanings?

What Can You Expect during Routine Dental Exams and Cleanings?

December 2, 2021

Is it time to schedule a visit to your dental care provider to undergo your biannual checkup? Learning what to expect during dental exams and cleaning near you can help you prepare yourself for the procedure to derive its best benefits.


If you are anxious about visiting dentists for dental examinations because you aren’t sure what to expect, this article provides an insight into dental exams, helping you approach your dentist without hesitation during your visit.


Why Should You Have Regular Dental Exams?


Do you understand the purpose of having regular dental exams? Is it possible that you associate the word ‘dentist’ with pain and complicated dental treatments?


Is it possible that you avoid visiting your dentist unless any problem arises with your mouth? Instead of behaving this way, it helps if you understand you can prevent pain and complex issues from developing by attending your dental visits to undergo the dental examination procedure.


When you visit your dentist regularly, you ensure you have any conditions in your mouth diagnosed and receive treatment early before the issue progresses to need invasive dental treatments later.


Any issues detected early during dental exams are treated promptly by your dentist to increase the chances of successful treatment outcomes saving you time and money later.


How Often Should You Have a Dental Exam?


The American Dental Association recommends you undergo a dental exam every six months or earlier as determined by your dentist. How frequently you visit your dentist depends on your oral health and medical history.


If you have specific oral conditions like gum disease or are vulnerable to oral issues, you must schedule visits every three months if required. However, you can let your dentist determine when is the best time to see them after evaluating the health of your teeth and gums and the risk of dental complications.


Expectations During Dental Exams and Cleanings


Your dentist conducts different types of dental examinations assisted by dental assistants or hygienists to determine whether you have issues like cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, and any other issue affecting your oral health. Dentists also look for signs of bad breath, which can emanate from different parts of your body.


Your dentist requests your entire medical history and asks questions whether you have any medical conditions or diseases, are you taking any medications prescribed or over-the-counter, do you smoke or consume alcohol, whether you have any allergies, and did you complete any dental work earlier.


After your dentist receives adequate information, they will perform a meticulous investigation of your mouth. If you have delayed the dental exam by over six months, the dentist requests x-rays to identify oral abnormalities invisible to the naked eye. However, x-rays are not necessary during every exam.


What Happens During Dental Cleaning?


During a dental cleaning, the dental hygienist engages in plaque and tartar removal forming on your teeth and below the gum line. Tiny instruments like mirrors and scalers help hygienists to scrape away hardened tartar, challenging to remove by brushing or flossing.


Plaque constantly develops over your teeth to harden into tartar within 48 hours. If you have left hardened tartar over your teeth and below the gum line, you are at risk of developing gum disease. It is to eliminate this possibility that you must get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.


After plaque and tartar removal, the hygienist polishes your teeth using a high-powered electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste. You may not like brushing with this specific toothpaste. However, it is an excellent technique to remove any leftover plaque between your teeth and polish them to leave you with stain-free teeth.


After the polishing, you receive a fluoride treatment to battle against cavities for several months and return to the dentist to discuss the results of the dental exam and cleaning.


After completing a routine dental exam and cleaning, your dentist and hygienist will discuss your oral health and your risks of tooth decay or other oral problems.


They will suggest preventive measures to improve and protect your oral health. The professionals will advise you on the date of your next visit after considering your risks of oral health issues.


Sometimes you may need treatment from specialists if you have a complicated situation in your mouth. In such cases, dentists refer you to a specialist they work with to ensure you receive appropriate treatment.

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