Regular Dental Checkup
Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. They are a critical part of your oral health and we recommend them to all of our patrons. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain optimal oral health.
Regular Dental Checkups
As leading dental hygienists, we believe in the power of teeth cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride to prevent dental disease. Our focus is on thorough dental care exams to check your teeth, gums, and overall health. At Hall of Fame Dental, we are equally concerned about your smile as we are about your well-being.
You can expect a typical new patient hygiene and cleaning appointment to go as follows:
- Our front staff will welcome you with typical information gathering and answering any dental care questions you may have.
- Next, your dental hygienist will greet you in the waiting room.
- If dental X-rays or photos are required, they will be taken to understand the overall health of your mouth and accurately diagnose any dental issue.
- Then your dental hygienist will perform a teeth cleaning, polish, floss, and fluoride.
- Next, we will take a periodontal chart to write and record gingival and overall oral conditions relating to oral and periodontal (gum) health.
- Meet the doctor for an exam and discuss any areas of concern you may have or we may want to address.
- If any areas of concern are found, we consult with your insurance company to provide an estimate of costs. If you do not have dental insurance at the time, you can use our third-party payment provider CareCredit to pay for the care you need.
- During your appointment with the doctor, please feel free to openly inquire about any dental concerns you may have.
- Schedule any needed treatment or simply your next 6-month cleaning appointment.
Expect this first appointment to take between 1 hour and 1.5 hours, so that we don’t rush you through or provide too much information too quickly for you.
Why are dental checkups important?
Many oral health concerns can only be detected through a thorough examination by a trained dentist. Dental checkups provide oral cancer screenings, digital X-rays to check for hidden issues, and professional cleanings to eliminate plaque, bacteria, and other buildups that daily brushing and flossing won’t effectively eliminate.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, so early intervention is essential. Once gum disease has taken its toll on the tooth and supporting bone, it cannot be restored, but only managed or replaced. The dental hygienist will use a small ruler to gently measure the gum “pocket” around each of your teeth, making note of areas that you can’t clean with a toothbrush or floss. X-rays are used in conjunction with these measurements, to identify areas of bone recession.
How often should you get dental checkups?
Ideally, dental checkups are performed every six months. On your first visit to the dentist, they will ask for a full health history to gain an understanding of your past and current health. From there, regular dental checkups will be used to determine any change in your oral health and keep your teeth and mouth in good shape or maintained appropriately.
The American Dental Association, and most dentists, recommend six months because the maintenance and cleaning provided at each visit is the best way to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
As long as your mouth is free of gum disease and heavy buildup, six months is about the average length of time for tartar and stain to accumulate to the point of needing another teeth cleaning. For individuals with a history of periodontitis, those maintenance visits may need to be as frequently as every 3-4 months.
What is an oral cancer screening?
Every time we provide care, we’re observing many different aspects of your overall health. Most people are surprised at the large amount of surface area that lines the mouth. While this lining repairs itself quickly, it is susceptible to changes that may require monitoring or further evaluation.
Oral cancer can afflict anyone although tobacco users put themselves at significantly higher risk than non-users. Chewing tobacco contains up to 3000 different chemicals, including the same compounds used in pesticides and embalming fluid. Cellular changes below the surface aren’t always detectable until they’ve advanced to a critical stage.
However, early detection and treatment of oral cancer significantly increase the chance of a positive outcome. The American Cancer Society reports that about 7,000 deaths result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually. If we suspect any unusual changes in your mouth tissue, we may suggest a biopsy and microscopic analysis by a qualified lab.
Many other non-cancerous changes can occur in your mouth’s tissue, from oral warts to autoimmune lesions.
As a side note, we understand tobacco holds powerful addictive powers over many health-conscious people. If you’re determined to quit, we want to be a supportive partner in your efforts. Talk to your hygienist or dentist about strategies and resources for kicking the habit.
Why are brushing and flossing important?
We all know brushing and flossing make our mouth feel great. But, brushing and flossing do more than freshen breath – they physically disrupt the complex network of bacteria called a biofilm. It’s important to disrupt and remove the sticky film so diseases like cavities and gum disease are less likely to happen. There are a lot of products on the market that claim they are the best. Make sure to talk about the options with your hygienist to get the best recommendation.
Is It Time For Your Next Checkup?
If you have more questions about dental checkups and other preventative dental care, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.