Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining good oral health of children and adults alike – and for keeping your teeth and gums in excellent condition. That’s why a routine dental appointment is not just about clean teeth, although that is certainly a central part of the visit. It’s also a chance for your dentist to check for any signs of potential problems before they become more serious.
During a routine dental appointment, patients can generally expect a few things:
- An oral examination
- Teeth cleaning
- Oral screenings (and possibly x-rays)
- Education and consultation
- Follow-up recommendations
Whether you’re going for your first dental visit or have been to the dentist countless times, here’s what to expect in a routine dental appointment.
1. Your Oral Examination
The dentist begins by conducting a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, checking for any signs of common issues such as:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Other oral health problems
They use a small mirror to see the hard-to-reach areas in your mouth and may also take x-rays to get a better view of your teeth and jaw structure. If any issues are found, the dentist will discuss treatment options with you.
2. Preventative Teeth Cleaning
After the oral examination, the dental hygienist will clean your teeth and remove any plaque and tartar buildup. They use various teeth cleaning tools, including a scaler and polisher. They will then brush your teeth with a high-powered toothbrush and finish the cleaning with flossing to remove any remaining debris.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year.
3. Screening for Gum Disease, Oral Cancer & Other Issues
Good oral health is always important – particularly as people’s risk for an oral infection increases with age. And the mouth can offer signs of other health problems an individual may be experiencing.
During the oral examination, the dentist also checks for signs of problems ranging from gum disease to oral cancer, which can be indicated by red or white patches on the inside of one’s mouth or on the tongue. Early detection of a disease or infection of any kind increases the chances of successful treatment.
4. Education and Consultation
After the cleaning and examination, the dentist and hygienist provide the patient with tips and advice on how to care for their teeth and gums. This includes proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as discussing any lifestyle habits that may be negatively affecting your oral health.
The dentist will also answer any questions you may have about your oral health or treatment options.
5. Recommendation for Follow-up Appointments
Before the patient leaves the dental office, the staff will typically schedule their next appointment. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, you may need to come back in six months or even sooner to address any dental issues that require further treatment.
Routine dental appointments are necessary for maintaining good oral health and catching any potential problems before they become more serious. Be sure to schedule your next visit to the dentist to receive a thorough cleaning and inspection of the teeth and gums, and to keep any root or nerve issues from developing.
Set Up Your Next Dentist Appointment at First Class Smiles in Des Plaines
The best way to combat oral health problems is by brushing and flossing throughout the day – in addition to visiting a highly qualified dental practice on a regular basis. First Class Smiles offers flexible appointment times so that you can schedule an appointment around your work or family schedule, making it easier than ever to get the dental cleanings you need.
A free consultation with one of our dentists will give you a chance to explore the best solutions for you and your family. By staying up-to-date with your dental appointments, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid more extensive dental procedures in the future.
As the oldest continuing dental practice in Des Plaines, First Class Smiles provides state-of-the-art treatments and expertise for only the best dental care. Our friendly staff is dedicated to caring for you and your entire family’s oral health and well-being. Contact us online or call us at (847) 824-3536 to set up your next appointment today!