The field of dentistry has come a long way in the last several years. Just fifty years ago, few people took care of their teeth or knew how to do a good job with it. For the most part, there were no guidelines and only a generic guess of how to give your teeth adequate care. Those who work in treating dental issues suggest that regular exams are an important part of keeping up with oral care, and we here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry agree completely.
SCHEDULING A DENTAL EXAM
Some may have anxiety when it comes to the dental chair because of a traumatic experience as a child or a general dislike of the unknown. We may have some paperwork to fill out if you are a new patient and it is possible it can be done online, but even if we do not collect it until you are sitting in our office, we want to make sure the information we have about your oral health is complete and accurate.
Many issues that can arise can be attributed to genetics, such as periodontal disease or even oral cancer if you have a family history of it, and it helps to know these things so that we know what to screen for during each exam. It is always better to treat something early than to give it time to manifest into something worse.
Even if you take good care of your teeth at home, you should still schedule regular cleanings. If you brush at least twice a day and floss, avoid sweets, and drink plenty of water while avoiding acidic drinks, you could have some pretty incredible teeth. It is our job, however, to make sure those hard-to-reach areas back behind the molars and also up around the gum line are also devoid of plaque, and there is almost always some accumulation every six months.
DURING YOUR DENTAL EXAM
If it has been more than a couple of years, we may take a few x-rays. This helps us see how your teeth are from the inside and detect any possible cracks or irritation, which could cause an infection. We will then clean your teeth. This is the process of using metal picks about the size of a pencil to remove plaque and tartar from your tooth. It is usually a painless experience, but if you have sensitive gums, we may be able to offer sedation for more extreme cases.
Once your teeth are cleaned, we will also floss and polish them. We may offer a topical fluoride gel as well. It often comes in a tasty flavor and can help strengthen your enamel, but you should not eat or drink for at least thirty minutes after to gain the full effect and also reduce how much you may swallow. After your cleaning, we will discuss anything we noticed during the exam and possible treatment for restoration.
Though cleanings can be an essential part of your dental care, you may also consider the possibility of receiving an oral cancer screening during your exam. This can help us keep track of changes and if we notice anything suspicious, begin treatment right away. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry for an exam or to ask any questions, please give us a call at (360) 456-1200.