Cleanings and Checkups
A routine checkup or dental cleaning generally happens once or twice a year. Some patients need to see the dentist more often. Talk to your dentist if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are pregnant, you may be more at risk for certain oral diseases. At your appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth to look for cases of tooth decay, gingivitis, oral cancer, oral tumors, or other mouth health issues. You should let your dentist know about any issues you are having with your teeth like sensitivity or pain. Also, you should bring a complete list of your medications to your dental appointment. Additionally, if you have a mouthguard, dentures, or an oral appliance you should bring it to your checkups so the dentist can inspect it and check for damage.
What happens at a Checkup?
First, your hygienist will remove mineral buildup (calculus or tartar) from your teeth with a small metal implement. Then, your hygienist will floss your teeth, this is to check your gums and to clean in between your teeth. Next, they will use a polishing compound customized to your teeth, rinse or remove the compound, and then apply fluoride to your teeth.
At this time your hygienist might take digital x-rays of your teeth. If you are visiting our office for the first time and have recently had x-rays taken, please let our staff know or ask your previous dentist to send them to our office.
If your hygienist has noticed an issue or found decay they may spend time educating you on proper care of your teeth or oral appliance. Some teeth are more difficult to care for than others and need extra attention.
Also, if you have active tooth decay the hygienist or dentist may recommend a more frequent brushing or flossing regimen, special mouthwashes, antibiotics to control an infection or other dental treatments.
During your exam, a dentist will exam your teeth, gums, supporting tissues, mouth, throat, and neck. Your dentist is checking for pain, discomfort, TMJ, oral cancer, tumors, abscesses, and other diseases. At this time, let your dentist know if you are experiencing any discomfort or have any new medical conditions that are not currently listed in your chart. You should discuss any problems or changes that you’ve noticed in your teeth, gums, jaw, or surround tissue since your last visit.
If you’re overdue for your cleaning and checkup please call Ann Arbor Smiles today to schedule an appointment.