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Dental Check Up: Procedure, Types & Importance | Hawaii Family Dental

Written by Danica Lacson on October 2, 2018

What should I expect in a Dental Check Up?

A dental check up is often part of a routine dental visit. During a routine visit, your dentist will do an exhaustive check-up and professional cleaning.

Review of Health History

Your medical and dental history may also be checked during a visit, especially for first-time patients. Your health records are important to note to know the most and safest method to approach your dental needs.

Dental Check Up

After reviewing your health history, the examination is conducted which will include assessment of dental cavities, signs of plaque buildup, the condition of your gums, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and other oral issues.

Your neck, head, face, throat, and tongue will also be checked for indications of swelling, complications or other severe diseases like cancer.

An X-ray may also be conducted to see if there are any issues below the mouth’s surface. In the procedure, patients will bite down a specially-designed plastic. An X-ray imaging machine will then be placed against the cheek. The visible part of your teeth, roots below the gum line and jaw bones will be seen in the resulting image, giving your dentist a proper look at your mouth’s condition.

Types of Dental Examination

  • Comprehensive Oral Examination is done during a patient's initial or first visit to the dental office wherein the results of the evaluation will be used as a baseline of the status of a patient's oral health and general health for the succeeding dental check ups.
  • Limited Oral Examination is also referred to as problem-focused oral evaluation which is typically done during emergency situations. In this evaluation, a specific oral health issue is addressed.
  • Periodic Oral Examination is the dental examination done after your initial visit. It is performed on patients with record in the dental office, meaning those have their oral health status documented. If it is your first time in the dental office, a comprehensive oral evaluation will be performed.

Teeth Cleaning

A thorough cleaning of your teeth will be done. Plaque that had built up will be scraped off your teeth, as well as, the tartar that had collected above and below your gum line. Flossing between and around every tooth will then be done to remove clinging food particles or plaque.

Using a tooth polisher and lightly abrasive paste, your teeth are given smooth and shiny finish, making the accumulation of plaque difficult before the next cleaning.

Removing plaque is critical to our oral health because dental plaque bacteria can cause bad breath, gum diseases, and cavities that can eventually lead to a tooth abscess, tooth loss, and infections when not immediately resolved. Infections may affect the jaws, head, and neck, while advanced gum diseases may trigger, coronary diseases, strokes, respiratory illnesses and diabetic flare-ups.

When should I get a Dental Check Up?

People are advised to visit the dentist at least twice a year for the maintenance of healthy gums and teeth which are also vital to the overall well-being.

For high-risk patients and conditions, more frequent dental visits may be recommended, depending on your dentist’s advice.

Why should I have my Teeth checked?

Through a dental checkup, early signs of tooth decay, periodontal diseases, oral cancer and other dental problems can be checked, and appropriate actions can be taken.

Also, since the mouth is the mirror of the body, dental check-ups may detect symptoms of other diseases including immune abnormalities, systemic disorders, cardiovascular problems, sinus problems, diabetes, blood pressure problems, and even cancers.


Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

References:

  • https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/you-and-your-dentist.aspx
  • https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adults/the-importance-of-regular-dental-visits
  • https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/how-often-should-you-go-to-the-dentist
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-exam/about/pac-20393728
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