How Often Should You Visit The Dentist For a Check-Up?
The key to ensuring your teeth remain healthy and strong throughout your life is regular check ups, and many dentists recommend that oral health check ups should be performed at least twice a year for check up and cleaning. This is particularly important if you have previously had any significant dental work done such as dental implants, crowns, bridges or fillings.
Important Reasons For Twice-Yearly Visits:
- To allow your dentist to check for problems that you might not see or feel including early signs of decay.
- To treat any other oral health problems found (Generally, the earlier a problem is found, the more manageable it is.)
What Happens At The Typical Check-Up Appointment?
An oral health check up is an examination of your mouth that’s recommended to take place twice a year to allow your dentist to check any problems and assess your teeth for early signs of decay. A health check can also be used to reevaluate any previous issues in case of developments, such as cavities.
Patients who have had dental implants, crowns, gum disease, or have a genetic predisposition for build-up of plaque and cavities could require more frequent oral health check ups to ensure they remain healthy. If you think this may apply to you, contact your dentist to arrange a consultation.
During a typical oral health check up you will be seen by two oral health care professional, including your dentist and your dental hygienist. As part of your examination, your hygienist will conduct an oral exam of your gums and teeth, and note down any changes in your overall health. They will also clean and polish your teeth, and provide you with information about caring for your teeth and gums.
Your dentist will conduct a similar exam, checking for signs of disease within your teeth and gums, asking about changes in your overall health, and diagnose any oral health problems that you may have. It’s also likely that your dentist will make treatment recommendations based on any pre-existing health conditions or previous treatments.
- Cleaning Although home-based tooth brushing and flossing help remove plaque, only a professional cleaning – provided by the dentist or dental hygienist – can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove the hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) that builds up on teeth. The hygienists use a series of metal hand instruments to clean your teeth.
- Polishing After your teeth have been cleaned, they are polished to remove plaque and stains on the tooth surface. The polish contains an abrasive substance and fluoride, and is applied using a small rotating rubber cup or brush attached to the dental hand piece.
- Prevention The hygienist might offer additional instructions for you to follow at home, based on the results of your exam. Don’t hesitate to ask us for instructions about brushing or flossing, or general care questions about your teeth and gums.
- Radiographs Radiographs might be taken during your oral health check. The dentist will consider your clinical examination, dental history, and risk for developing cavities in determining the frequency for x-rays.
- Treatment recommendations If any oral health problems are identified during your examination, the dentist will make recommendations for the best next steps. These might include referral to another oral health care specialist, additional diagnostic tests, or advice to return for restoration work or additional oral health care.
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