Aside from daily brushing and flossing, a person can greatly protect oral health by simply visiting the dentist regularly. Just a few dental appointments yearly can provide one with necessary dental checkups, professional cleaning, and diagnosis of oral complications and/or dental treatments.
Depending on one’s oral standing, they may only have to go every six months or more if necessary. But for general oral health screenings and professional cleanings, going to the dentist twice in 365 days isn’t so bad.
Take into consideration that during a dental examination, the dentist will examine the teeth and gums for any indications of oral cancer, gum problems, dental caries and other forms of dental complications.
To examine more carefully, an X-ray is commonly used. The dental hygienist will get rid of the plaque from the teeth from hard-to-reach areas like in-between teeth and below the gum line. These procedures seem simple but are nevertheless vital for good oral health.
What to Expect During a Dental Checkup
In a number of cases, the dentist and dental hygienist will perform a dental examination. Typically, a dental checkup comprises of:
- Cleaning and polishing the teeth. The dentist will utilize an ultrasonic dental instrument or hand scaler to easily scrape and get rid of tartar from the patient’s teeth. Afterward, the dentist polishes the teeth with the help of a brush or a rotating rubber cup to eliminate stains or remaining plaque.
- After this procedure, the dentist will talk about any dental hygiene issues present. He or she will show and discuss with the patient how to floss and brush properly if necessary.
- Meanwhile, to provide patients with more premium quality dental services, X-rays or dental radiographs play a role in professional dental care.
The Use of X-rays at the Dentist
X-ray machines provide very useful data about the patient’s dental and oral health. This can give dentists a closer look at the teeth from above and below the gumline.
As the rays infiltrate, these are absorbed by the bones in the mouth more than the soft tissues and gums. In turn, this forms an image of the position of the teeth in the mouth. Thus, this can reveal signs of tooth decay and any possible spots of weakness.
Patients may worry that radiographic equipment generates radiation. The good news is that contemporary advances in X-ray technology are continuously lessening the radiation produced. As a matter of fact, research suggests that the amount of radiation coming from these machines is not much higher than natural sources of radiation (e.g., airplanes, televisions, etc.).
Although X-ray radiation is low, it is still necessary for expecting women to as much as possible avoid unnecessary X-rays. But women who are pregnant are also more prone to gum problems. Thus, this is one reason why sometimes X-rays are advised during pregnancy. Fortunately, the use of a thyroid collar and lead apron will be worn by the patient to prevent radiation in certain regions of the body.