Dental veneers are popular with cosmetic dentists, who use them to cover up minor imperfections on patients’ teeth. If you are considering dental veneers as a way to improve your smile, you will be happy to know that installing veneers is a fairly simple process.When a cosmetic dentist recommends dental veneers, they will lay out…
Learn About the Different Types of Dental Checkups from a Family Dentist
Dental checkups are one of the most important procedures a family dentist performs. These visits serve as a chance for the dentist to evaluate the patient's teeth and it gives them an opportunity to perform any treatments that are needed.
A family dentist explains the different types of dental checkups
The three main types of dental checkups performed by dentists are:
- Comprehensive oral exams: These are usually performed during a patient's first visit to a family dentist. The results of this checkup serve as a baseline for other treatments and checkups the patient will get in the future. It is a thorough examination that often includes the use of diagnostic equipment like x-rays
- Limited oral examination: This type of examination is typically done in response to an oral problem the patient might have. Such examinations help the dentist to make a diagnosis
- Periodic oral examination: These are performed as follow-ups to the patient's initial checkup. It is done to look for oral issues that might have developed since the patient's last comprehensive examination
The dental checkup process
Checkups are a routine part of any dental visit. The process often starts with the dentist going over the patient's dental and medical history. The dentist will then inspect the patient's teeth, looking for signs of tooth decay or mineral deficiencies.
The dentist will also examine the patient's tongue, throat, face and head looking for signs of disease like oral cancer or swelling. The dentist might follow up the visual examination by performing an x-ray to see what the patient's mouth looks like underneath the gums. Other diagnostic tests, like CT scans, might be ordered based on the dentist's findings. Once the checkup is complete, the dentist might perform a cleaning or a fluoride treatment.
This involves scraping tartar off teeth surfaces. Tartar is calcified plaque and it cannot be removed from teeth surfaces by flossing or brushing. A metal tool called a scaler is used to scrape tartar off teeth surfaces above and below the gumline.
The dentist finishes the treatment by using an abrasive paste to polish the patient's teeth, making them smooth and shiny. Plaque and tartar lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so having tartar periodically removed from teeth surfaces helps to protect them against these issues. Advanced gum disease can impact a person's overall health and it has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Dentists recommend getting teeth cleaned at least two times each year.
If the dentist sees things that lead them to believe the patient might be susceptible to tooth decay, they might recommend a fluoride treatment to protect the patient's teeth. The person bites down on a mouth tray with fluoride gel and keeps it in place for a minute. It can protect teeth for over six months.
Is it time for your dental checkup?
Call our Charlotte clinic if you are due for a dental checkup. Our family dentist can treat any oral issues that are detected.
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