What Should You Expect During Your Routine Dental Checkup Exam and Cleaning?

Routine dental assessments and cleanings are an excellent way to maintain good oral and overall well-being. They focus on preventing, diagnosing, managing, and treating oral issues. The procedure is simple and pain-free. Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to schedule a dental checkup because they don’t know what to expect. Below is a typical guide of what happens during a routine dental visit.

What to Expect During Dental Exam?

Please note that the specific steps one dentist uses may vary from another. Typically, they include:

Medical history

Before conducting the dental exam, the dentist will review your medical history. The dentist will ask if you have previously been diagnosed with oral issues such as cavities, gum disease, oral cancer. They will also ask about any current medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases and whether you’re currently taking any medications. The dentist will also ask you about any notable changes you may have experienced since the last appointment. This information is necessary to guide the dentist on where to focus during the dental exam and choose the right treatment options for you.

Examine your mouth and restorations

Next, the dentist will closely examine your mouth, including the gums, teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue. The dentist might use x-rays and dental tools such as mirrors to explore different mouthparts. Mainly, the dentist looks for abnormal signs such as swollen, sensitive, tender, sore, or bleeding gums to check for gum disease.

The teeth are checked for cavities, cracks, discoloration, breaks, misalignments, and decay. Some dentists also perform oral cancer screenings at least once per year. They check for early signs of cancer such as bad breath, red and white sores, unexplained pain in the face, mouth, ear, and mouth, and much more.

The dentist will also examine any dental work during the exam, such as braces, crowns, bridges, sealants, and fillings. It’s important to ensure your restoration is in good condition to prevent any issues from developing. For instance, damaged sealants and fillings can increase your risk of tooth decay.

What to Expect During Cleaning?

Cleaning your mouth is also a part of routine dental checkups. The procedure is typically easy, quick, and pain-free. The dentist uses special dental tools to scrape off tartar and plaque deposits from the teeth and along the gum line. Even with thorough at-home brushing and flossing, there’s a risk of food particles and plaque getting trapped in dark areas of the mouth. Eventually, this leads to cavities, oral infections, and tooth decay.

Teeth cleaning helps ensure no leftover particles, plaque, or tartar can harm your teeth and gums. After cleaning the teeth, the dentist also polishes them to give them a brighter and smoother appearance. Smooth teeth surfaces are easy to clean, and there’s less risk of food particles getting stuck. If your teeth are deeply stained, the dentist can bleach them to give you a whiter appearance.

Preventive Dental Care

If you’re at a higher risk of developing dental issues, your dentist can recommend preventive care procedures such as dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Sealants are applied on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, significantly reducing your risk of developing cavities and decay. Fluoride treatments are also essential to strengthen your teeth and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.

After Dental Exam and Cleaning

After examining and cleaning your teeth, the dentist will discuss the results. If any issues are detected, the dentist will guide you on the best treatment approach. If the dentist needs to confirm the findings, they will schedule you for additional tests or refer you to a specialist. The dentist will also guide you on helpful tips for caring for your oral and overall well-being. Finally, they will schedule you for future dental appointments.

To care for your mouth at home:

  • Use the right dental products
  • Floss at least once daily
  • Brush twice daily
  • Avoid sugary and acidic items. These items can increase the risk of enamel erosion and eventually cavities and decay.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky items to prevent dental damage
  • Avoid highly pigmented items to prevent teeth staining. If you must take them, ensure you rinse your mouth afterward.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you have further questions about routine dental checkups and cleanings, contact York Dental Group for more information.

Click to listen highlighted text!