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Dentist Checkups; What to Know

Dentist Checkups; What to Know

A lot of people fear going to the dentist. The dentist is not who they fear. They worry about what will happen when the dentist performs a checkup. Many believe they are going to get bad news. Ultimately, it is fear of the unknown that keeps people away from visiting the dentist. Learning a little bit about what to expect at the dentist’s office can make those fears go away.

Probably the first thing the dentist will do is ask the patient if he or she has experienced anything out of the ordinary. If the patient notes gums have been bleeding, bad breath won’t go away, or a particular tooth hurts, the dentist now has a guide regarding what to look for when performing an oral check up.

The dentist is going to take a quick look at the patient’s mouth to determine the condition of the gum. Gums that are red, inflamed, or bleeding are telltale signs the patient has something wrong with him or her. The seriousness of the condition can only be determined after a proper examination.

The dentist is not just going to look at the teeth. He/she has to examine the roots and the jaw bone. Doing so is necessary in order to properly ascertain whether or not there is bone loss or other problems present such as an infection. Bone loss has to be addressed at an early stage because, once the bone that holds the teeth in place starts to disappear, the roots become exposed. This can lead to more decay. Also, the teeth can become very loose and, possibly, may have to be extracted.

There are treatments available for bone loss, but they are costly and come with no guarantees. A bone graft could be rejected by the body. Getting a regular dental check up allows the dentist to correct a problem before it gets too far.

The dentist also checks for oral cancers. Not everyone realizes this is part of the dental examination and it is a critically important part. Locating cancers early enough can be life saving.

The dentist is going to clean the teeth with professional-grade equipment. If there is plaque and tartar built up on the teeth, the dentist is going to perform a gross scaling to clear it away.

When gum disease has set in, the dentist is probably going to perform a root planing. This process entails cleaning the roots under the gums to make sure all the plaque is removed.

Of course, the dentist is going to check for cavities. Just because someone does not feel any pain in the teeth does not mean a cavity has not emerged. The dentist will determine the severity of the cavity and then suggest anything from a filling to a root canal. The proper procedure will be predicated on the condition of the tooth.

A dentist check up should not be put off. Seeing the dentist once every six month is recommended to make sure proper tabs are kept on the condition of the teeth — and so a proper treatment can be performed before things get worse.