Many patients who haven’t seen a dentist in the past year or longer have cavities and gum disease without evening knowing it. Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are the best way to prevent and detect problems before they get worse, but many patients often neglect these visits.
There are several important parts of a dental check up. The first thing your dentist will usually do is check for any decay or cavities. He or she will also examine your gums for any signs of gingivitis or gum disease. The alignment of your teeth and jaw may also be examined. X-rays may be taken at this time if necessary. Your dentist will also check the integrity of any dental restorations you have, such as implants, crowns, veneers, bridges or fillings.
At each cleaning and exam appointment, the dentist will check for signs of oral cancer. The dentist will examine for visual signs, such as bumps, spots or lumps, and will also use the Velscope system to detect any abnormalities that may not be visible to the naked eye. Many Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Chances of a successful treatment are greatly increased by early detection.
The dentist or hygienist will also thoroughly clean, floss and polish your teeth. There’s nothing like that clean feeling you get when you leave the dentist’s chair! This is also a good opportunity to inquire about and discuss your regular oral hygiene practices. Even if you already are doing a great job of cleaning your teeth at home, your hygienist or dentist may have some valuable tips to offer, so don’t be afraid to make the most out of your visit by asking questions!
As you can see, there are many great reasons to see your dentist every six months for a routine examination and cleaning. We understand that the cost of visits can add up, but thankfully most insurance plans will provide coverage for a cleaning and exam at least once a year. If you are unsure, our staff will assist you in understanding your insurance plan to get the most out of your benefits. We are always happy to help and look forward to seeing you at your next visit.