Sunday, 7 August 2011

Dental Checkups Help Save Your Teeth, Your Smile And Your Life

Most of us will think of scheduling an appointment with the dentist only when we have an acute toothache. After all, why go to a dentist if you do not have a problem, right? Wrong! The truth is a toothache is a sign that tooth decay has already progressed to a more advanced stage. Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to spot potential problems and take corrective action before the problem becomes more severe and requires more extensive treatment. During a routine dental checkup, the dentist will also screen for oral cancer, which could actually save your life. When detected in the early stages, oral cancer can be managed successfully.

What Happens in a Routine Dental Check Up?

During a routine checkup, your dentist will first check with you about any concerns that you have about your teeth and ask you about your general health and about any medications that you may be on. Then a thorough oral examination will be carried out where your dentist will check for early signs of tooth decay and gum disease as well as any signs of oral cancer. The dentist will also check your teeth for any signs of cracks or erosion and will examine your existing fillings, bridges or crowns to make sure they are intact with no signs of cracks or decay. X-Rays may be taken if necessary to check for any tooth decay in areas that cannot be visually examined or if there is any suspicion that you may have some problems with the roots of any teeth.

After the oral examination, your dentist will then proceed to clean your teeth and remove any hardened plaque that has built up on your teeth. This is done with specially designed metal hand instruments. Once the cleaning is complete, it is time to get your teeth polished and remove any stains that may be present on the surface of the tooth. Polishing is done using a fluoride containing abrasive substance that is applied onto a small rotating rubber cup or brush. Depending upon the condition of your oral health, your dentist may or may not recommend any other treatment measures.

Recommended Dental Checkup Schedule

The recommended schedule for regular dental checkups is twice a year. However, certain medications, genetics or some other factors may make you more predisposed to developing tooth cavities and other oral problems. In that case, it is a better idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist more often. It is best to speak to your dentist about what schedule would work best for you.
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