Visiting The Dentist? Here’s What To Expect From Your Dental Exam

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What To Expect From Your Dental Exam

Dental exams are important to your overall health and well-being, but they can also be nerve-wracking. Many people experience extreme anxiety at the thought of visiting the dentist. If you’re worried about your upcoming exam, you should rest easy. Here is what you can expect when you are at the office.

Your Teeth Will Be Cleaned

Typically, the hygienist will start by giving your teeth a good cleaning. They may also have a hygienist handle this part of your appointment. While brushing and flossing can help to keep your teeth clean, a the professional has access to powerful tools that can truly clean your teeth, like high powered water piks. Another example, they may decide to use a tartar scraper to safely remove tartar from your mouth.

If they see that you have excessive tartar, they may recommend a deep cleaning treatment that includes scaling and root planing. Tartar can increase your risk for gum disease, which is why it’s important to make sure that your mouth is truly clean.

Your Teeth Will Be Checked For Cavities And Signs Of Gum Disease

Once your mouth is clean, the hygienist will inspect your mouth for cavities and other dental problems, such as signs of gum disease. If you do have a cavity, it’s likely that your family dentist will suggest another type of treatment, like fillings or crowns. If you have gum disease, it is possible they may prescribe some sort of medication or a topical antiseptic.

If your dentist sees severe dental problems, they may recommend some sort of surgery. It’s important to schedule regular exams so that you can treat problems before they spiral out of control.

You’ll Be Checked For Signs Of Abnormalities

Many serious diseases, such as lupus and diabetes, can show up in the mouth before other parts of the body. Because of this, your dentist will check your mouth carefully for any signs of abnormalities. In addition to checking your mouth, there will be an examine of your face and your neck.  This is called an oral cancer screening, which is very important but often overlooked.

Your dental health can impact your physical health, which is why scheduling regular exams can be so important. If the hygienist or dentist examining you does see any warning signs, it’s likely that they’ll have you schedule an appointment with your doctor.

You Might Need Digital X-Rays

Not all dental issues can be diagnosed through an exam alone. In some cases, your dentist may order an X-ray or another type of diagnostic procedure. This will allow your dentist to see your teeth more clearly so that they can provide the proper diagnosis.

You shouldn’t necessarily assume that you’ll have an X-ray during your exam. If your dentist doesn’t notice any abnormalities, then they may not think that a radio-graph is necessary. With that said, these kinds of diagnostic procedures are fairly common, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you need to have an X-ray done.

These days most offices use digital X-rays, which are minimally invasive and give you a more detailed view of what is going on with your teeth.  You can learn more about the benefits of digital X-rays here https://www.sharecare.com/health/dental-oral-health-teeth/what-benefits-digital-dental-xrays

Your Dentist Will Discuss Your Dental Habits

At some point during your exam, your dentist will want to have a chat with you about your oral hygiene. They may ask you about how often you brush or floss. They may demonstrate the proper techniques for you so that they can be sure you’re flossing properly.

It’s likely that your dentist will also want to talk about your diet and your lifestyle. Many habits, like smoking or drinking soda, can cause serious damage to your teeth. Your dentist may recommend that you cut back on these habits, particularly if your teeth are in bad shape.

This is one of the things that makes many people dread seeing the dentist. After all, no one wants to be lectured about their oral hygiene. With that said, it’s likely that your dentist will provide you with a lot of valuable insight and advice. Remember, your dentist wants your teeth to be in good health. Listen to them, communicate openly, and follow the advice that they give you.

They’ll Give You Recommendations

Depending on the results of your exam, your dentist may make a few recommendations for you. They may request that you schedule an appointment for a dental procedure. It’s likely that they’ll also tell you when you should have your next exam. If your teeth are in good health, your dentist may recommend an annual exam. If you have serious dental problems, your dentist might suggest more frequent exams.

If you’ve brought up any concerns during your appointment, your professional will also make recommendations that address those concerns. For example, they might suggest cosmetic treatments, like whitening. If you have any additional questions, make sure you speak up and get the information that you need.

Don’t put off your dental exam! These exams give your doctor the chance to take a look at your teeth so that they can spot and treat problems. Most oral health issues are far easier to treat when they’re detected early.

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