What to Expect at a Dental Visit

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis it’s just as important as your regular physicals with your general practitioner. Our oral health greatly impacts our overall health so it is important to make sure that your teeth and gums are properly cared for. Your dentist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of issues with your teeth, gums and even jaw.

What To Expect At A Dental Visit

If you are visiting a new dentist for the first time, they will begin your visit by updating your dental x-rays so they can establish a baseline of your teeth, gums, and jaw bone. The dentist will examine your mouth and determine what type of cleaning you might require. Some patients need a deep cleaning if they haven’t been seen for a while but others may simply need a routine preventative cleaning.

If the dentist determines that you do need a deep cleaning, this usually takes two appointments. One side of the mouth is done at each appointment and a local anesthetic is applied so that the hygienist can reach well below the gum line to remove build up and bacteria but keep you comfortable.

Patients who are in relatively good condition may be able to receive a routine cleaning the same day as their initial visit with the dentist. During this cleaning, the hygienist will use a cavitron along with manual tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line in between your teeth where your toothbrush and floss miss. Once a year, they will also use a probing tool to measure the depth of your gum pockets. Healthy gum pockets measure no more than 3 millimeters. Gum pockets with measurements at or above 4 and 5 millimeters may require further treatment.

Once your cleaning is complete, your dentist will come in to perform an examination of your teeth, gums, and soft tissues. They will check your bite and make sure that everything is in alignment. Your dentist may also review your x-rays with you so that you can see any areas of decay or periodontal disease. If your dentist does spot a small area of decay, it is important that you proceed with the advised treatment before decay progresses further. A small cavity is much easier to fix than if it is left untreated and allowed to grow at which point it may require a crown or even a root canal and crown.

How often should I visit the Dentist?

Most patients can maintain a healthy oral condition with two routine cleanings per year. This is typically considered the industry standard but some patients may require more frequent cleanings. Patients who suffer from periodontal disease, or pregnant, smoke, have a weakened immune system, or are on medications that cause dry mouth will greatly benefit from three or four cleanings per year. Maintaining a regular relationship with your dental office will ensure that your teeth and gums are in the best shape possible which will lead to improved overall health.

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