Check-up Appointments Steps
Going to your dentist for regular dental check-ups is a pivotal part of maintaining your oral health. However, dental exams can be scary for a lot of people. They walk in with the uneasy thought of if their teeth are in good health, then once in the dentist chair, the strange sounds and someone poking and prodding around their mouth can turn that uneasiness into fear and anxiety.
Well, don’t worry. It’s not as scary as it sounds. We are going to tell you what your dentist and their staff are doing in your mouth from start to finish.
Dental and Medical History
Before examining your mouth, we will want to know about your medical history. Things like do you have diabetes, take any medications, if you’re pregnant, or have any allergies. It’s crucial that the dental staff knows about any prior or current health conditions to avoid drug interactions or avoidable incidents while you’re in their care.
We will also want to know about any anxieties you might have. Don’t be afraid to tell us. It’s one of our jobs to help ease your fears about dental check-ups and procedures. After going through your medical history and any questions you might have your hygienist we’ll move on to the next step.
This step is required so that your dentist can identify any issues that are below your mouths surface. To perform the x-ray correctly, you will bite down on a specially designed piece of plastic while an x-ray machine is placed against your cheek.
The image will reveal the complete bone structure of your mouth, your teeth, the roots below the gum line, and your jawbone.
With these x-rays and the findings your dentist will have a clear picture of what’s going on in your mouth, and we will be able to prescribe the next step in your oral health care.
Digital X-Rays have a higher resolution than traditional film x-rays, and also have a greater than 400% reduction in radiation in comparison to older film based x-rays.
To do this, your dentist will use a dentist mirror, which is a small metal probe the size of an electric toothbrush with a mirror attached to it. This will help to inspect between and behind your teeth and gums.
The dentist will also look for softening enamel, gum swelling, and mouth sores, which can tell a lot about the health of your mouth.
Using your dental digital x-rays your dentist will investigate your mouth. They will examine jaw alignment, teeth grinding and screen for oral cancer by feeling the area under your jaw, the sides of your neck, the inside of your lips and cheeks and also the roof and floor of your mouth and tongue.
Your dentist will also want to examine your bite to make sure there’s no clicking in your jaw joints, and that your bite is smooth and aligned. After this, your dentist will examine your teeth for wear and tear. Things like cracks or tooth surfaces that have been filed down due to grinding or jaw clenching. Once this is completed your dentist will be ready to tell you their findings.
The dentist might also use Digital Intra-oral Cameras that allow records and images to be taken and allow you to be involved in your dental care.
Dentists are checking for more than just Tooth Decay:
- Soft-tissues of the mouth for any abnormality or tumours
- Jaw Joint Assessment – for any damage or signs of grinding
- Teeth health for signs of cracks, decay, wear, erosion
- Gum health for signs of gum disease and bone loss
- Bite Setup for signs of grinding, cracks or damage caused to the teeth
- Cosmetic appearance of your teeth
Results and Advice
At this point, your dentist will fully understand the condition of your mouth and oral health. All issues will have been discovered and identified, and they will be able to prescribe further treatment.
In this step, your dentist will give you advice on how to improve or maintain your oral health. They will discuss any problem areas you might have, and recommend procedures if needed.