Regular dental exams and check-ups are necessary because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. A dentist doesn’t only play the role of treating dental issues; they also help identify oral problems early. Therefore, it is advisable to undergo a dental exam every six months or as advisable by your dentist. If you need a comprehensive dental exam and check-up in La Puente, CA, we invite you to visit La Puente Advanced Dentistry.
What To Expect During A Dental Check-up
A regular dental visit has two main parts: a dental exam or check-up and dental cleaning, also known as oral prophylaxis. During a dental exam, the doctor will check your teeth for the presence of cavities. Your dentist might recommend an x-ray to help reveal dental cavities between your teeth. A dental exam also involves checking for plaque and tartar between the teeth or on the teeth. Plaque consists of a sticky layer of bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it could harden and form tartar. Brushing and flossing your teeth is not enough to remove tartar. You could suffer from oral diseases if plaque and tartar build up on your teeth. You require professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.
During a dental exam, the dentist will also check your gums. The dentist will use a special tool to check the space between your teeth and gum. If you have healthy gums, this space should be shallow. The spaces between your gums and teeth become deeper if you have gum disease.
A dental check-up also involves a careful examination of your throat, tongue, face, neck, and head. The dentist will look for any signs of redness, swelling, and possible signs of oral cancer. The dentist uses special tools to remove tartar through a process known as scaling. After scaling, the dentist may polish your teeth using a special paste to help remove any surface stains from your teeth. The final step of professional dental cleaning involves using floss to clean the areas between your teeth.
The Key Benefits Of Regular Dental Check-ups And Exams
For most people, visiting the dentist is not at the top of the list of their to-do-things. Many people avoid regular dental exams and check-ups due to dental anxiety and fear. Visiting the dentist might seem like a scary experience. However, there are numerous benefits of regular dental exams and check-ups. In addition to examining and cleaning your teeth, a dentist will also recommend a follow-up plan and schedule appointments for any other necessary dental work. Below are some of the leading benefits of regular dental exams and check-ups:
Prevent More Serious Dental Issues
A dentist doesn’t just work on your teeth. A dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and the entire mouth. This enables them to spot concerns that could turn into larger dental issues in the future. For instance, if the dentist identifies a small cavity on your teeth, they can fix it immediately. If the dentist notices that your gums are not in good shape, they will recommend the necessary treatment on time. Many people experience persistent plaque build-up or gum disease because they do not visit a dentist soon enough. The dentist will also check out for early signs of oral cancer or other oral disorders during a dental exam.
Prevents Teeth Loss
If a tooth is severely rotten or decayed, there might be no other option than to pull the tooth out. Losing your tooth could be detrimental, given that we only have one set of teeth. Tooth loss could be harmful to your overall oral health. For example, when you lose one tooth, your jaw bone could deteriorate, resulting in loss of jaw bone. Your neighboring teeth might also shift on their own. Shifting of your teeth could cause discomfort and alter your smile permanently. One of the most significant benefits of regular dental visits is saving your teeth. It helps prevent irreversible teeth damage.
Sensitization On Proper Dental Hygiene
Many people do not understand the best dental hygiene practices. For example, many people only brush their teeth once a day and never floss. This might not sound like a big deal but could lead to bigger dental issues in the long run. Simple practices like brushing your teeth regularly, especially after meals, and ensuring that you floss regularly could go a long way in saving your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing help fight bacteria in the mouth and promote your overall dental health. Keeping up with your dental exams and check-ups is beneficial because you will have professional monitoring of your oral health. Your dentist will recommend a personalized dental hygiene routine.
Solving Issues Related To Dental Health
You might be experiencing certain issues related to dental health. For instance, if you often grind your teeth, you might experience constant headaches or problems sleeping. Your dentist will target and treat these issues to ensure that you experience less discomfort and better sleep quality. Even if the dentist might not solve some of your underlying issues, they will refer you to a relevant specialist.
Treating Bad Breath
Many people often struggle with chronic bad breath, not just in the morning but also throughout the day. Bad breath often results from a condition known as halitosis, which occurs because of practicing poor oral hygiene habits. You should not ignore halitosis or try to treat it on your own. If you have been experiencing bad breath, it is advisable to visit the dentist to pinpoint the specific cause of the foul odor and how you can deal with it. Sometimes, bad breath may be a sign of an underlying medical condition that should be treated immediately.
Gives You Peace of Mind
Regular dental exams and check-ups give you peace of mind. If you constantly experience dental pain or other dental issues, you cannot enjoy peace of mind. If left untreated, certain dental issues like decayed teeth could have very severe consequences. This explains why it is advisable to visit your dentist regularly. A dentist will examine you and keep up with what is happening in your mouth. Your dentist will also aid with any pain or discomfort that you could be experiencing and recommend an appropriate follow-up plan. With regular dental exams and check-ups, you will experience peace of mind and not have to worry about how bad a dental problem might be.
Gives You A Beautiful Smile
The first thing most people notice about you is your smile. Numerous advantages come with a beautiful smile, including enhanced confidence and self-esteem. Anyone would probably love to have a beautiful smile. Regular dental exams and check-ups can help you achieve the smile you have always desired. Getting sparkling teeth comes from regular dental cleanings and following your dentist’s recommendations. The beautiful smile may also come from wearing dental braces or undergoing a certain dental procedure. Whatever the case, your dentist will advise you and guide you in the right direction to help you achieve a beautiful smile and build your self-esteem.
Before A Dental Appointment
A visit to your dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience. Dentists and hygienists are there to help you and often try to make your dental visit as comfortable as possible. If you are particularly nervous about undergoing a dental exam or check-up, your dentist may recommend pain relief and sedation procedures to help you relax.
If you are planning a dental visit, you should plan enough time off school or work to avoid feeling rushed or anxious to get back. In addition, whenever you plan an appointment, try to find out how long the appointment will take to help you plan accordingly. For example, if you are to undergo a dental cleaning, find out how long the cleaning will take.
If it has been a while since your last dental visit, you are likely to be at the dental chair much longer. You may consider scheduling an end-of-day dental appointment so that you can go home after the check-up. If you have dental insurance, check beforehand whether the dentist you plan to visit is in-network. If you do not have dental insurance, find out how much you are likely to spend before the appointment.
On the appointment day, arrive at the dental office early so that you can fill all the necessary paperwork. Some dental clinics will have you fill some online forms ahead of time. Arriving early also gives the staff ample time to set you up. When you check in at the reception desk, you should ensure that you have your insurance card and driver’s license ready.
A Routine Dental Visit
During a routine dental exam or check-up, the dentist will cover your chest with a paper or plastic cloth. The dentist may also cover your eyes with eye shields. You might see some ultrasonic tools and a tray of metal. The dentist uses these tools to scrape off tartar that might have built up on your teeth along the gum line. You should let the dentist know if you have mouth pain or your jaws hurt during a dental cleaning. The dentist can allow you some rest breaks in between dental cleanings. After the professional cleaning, the dentist will rinse your teeth.
The dentist could use a tool with a spinning head to polish your teeth. Some dentists will even allow patients to choose the preferred flavor of the buffing paste. After the polishing, your dentist will rinse your teeth again. Dentists often recommend dental x-rays every year to help reveal dental issues that are just starting or are hard to detect. After a routine check-up, the dentist records notes in your chart and advises you about your teeth condition.
A First-Time Or Non-Routine Dental Visit
Even if it has been a while since you last visited the dentist, you can still expect the same procedures as a routine dental check-up. However, during a new dental visit or visits after several years have passed, the dentist is likely to recommend an x-ray. An x-ray will enable the dentist to get a clear picture of what is going on inside your teeth, gums, and the supporting bone structures.
You should be ready for a longer and deeper cleansing session with the dentist. The longer you take before visiting the dentist, the more tartar accumulates on your teeth and along the gum line. You should speak to your dentist about numbing options to reduce discomfort during dental cleaning. Especially if you have sensitive teeth, having tartar removed can be uncomfortable. However, the clean and smooth feel of your teeth after a dental cleaning is worth it. After a professional dental cleaning, you will have a fresher breath too.
You may experience some pain and bleeding as the dentist checks the gums for pockets and probes your teeth. However, this pain and bleeding will cease after a short period. Do not be overwhelmed if your dentist discovers numerous dental problems. By undergoing a dental exam and check-up, you are on your way to fixing your dental problems. In addition, your routine follow-up dental visits will be easier if you embrace proper dental habits.
You can take over-the-counter pain medication if your mouth is sore after a routine dental exam or check-up. Call your dentist between routine check-ups if your teeth hurt, your jaw swells, or you have any questions. If you experience a dental emergency like a broken tooth, you should let your dentist know right away.
Follow-up Dental Care
Even if your mouth is healthy, you should get a dental exam and cleaning after every six months. The dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment plan depending on what they find during a dental check-up. They will probably schedule a follow-up visit sooner than they would another follow-up visit. For example, for tooth decay problems, a dentist may recommend dental fillings to fill up the cavities before they get bigger.
The dentist may recommend dental crowns to cover the damaged tooth and keep the root in place for advanced tooth decay. The dentist will cement the cap in place to make it look and feel like your real tooth.
In the case of broken or stained teeth, the dentist may recommend shaping, veneers, and cosmetic bonding to improve the appearance of these teeth. Do not fail to ask your dentist about the various options for improving your overall smile.
If you have gum problems, the dentist may recommend scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing involve cleaning on the sides of your teeth below the gum line. This helps the gums to tighten up better around the roots. After a root planing and scaling procedure, you may need to have an x-ray every six months to check on your progress.
Your dentist may recommend a root canal if they find swelling or an infection in the roots of your teeth. A root canal involves opening up the tooth, cleaning it, and then closing it up. For a root canal treatment, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist.
If you have highly damaged or missing teeth, your dentist may recommend replacing these teeth using dental bridges or implants. Implants consist of screws made of titanium that go into the jawbone. The screws serve as an anchor for dental crowns. Long-term dental replacements stay put, unlike the removable dentures.
Dental implants look and function like your real teeth. Dental bridges will come in handy in filling or bridging the gap between missing teeth. Bridges can be anchored on dental implants or healthy teeth on each side. Whatever the follow-up dental care plan your dentist recommends, you will need a payment plan to cover the dental costs.
Common Signs That You Should Go For A Dental Check-up
Most people know that they should visit the dentist at least twice a year for dental exams and check-ups. Regular dental visits enable your dentist to keep your teeth clean. It also enables them to identify, treat, and prevent many oral health issues. It is much easier to identify and treat dental problems when they are minor, especially when the dentist is familiar with your oral health history. All the reasons outlined above make it necessary to visit your dentist regularly. However, certain symptoms could be a sign that you need a dental check-up even before your next dental appointment:
- Swelling or tooth pain — Continuous and sharp tooth pains are usually a sign of a deeper problem; the pain gets worse if left untreated.
- Sore or inflamed gums — Swollen or inflamed gums mean that you have gum disease. Mild forms of gum disease are reversible, but it becomes harder to treat as the disease progresses.
- Injury to your mouth — You should visit your dentist if you have an injury in your mouth, irrespective of whether the injury feels like a dental emergency or not.
- White spots on your teeth or gums — White spots on your teeth or gums are often the first signs of tooth decay. When your dentist notices such spots on your tooth, they can act fast and prevent cavities from developing.
- Sensitivity to cold or hot — If you experience a constant sensitivity to hot and cold things, it could signify an underlying issue.
- Canker sores — If you have severe canker sores that won’t heal on their own or tend to get worse over time, you should visit a dentist immediately.
Find A La Puente Dentist Near Me
Early detection and treatment can reverse most oral problems. Therefore, it is advisable to visit your dentist regularly to help them detect oral issues early. For comprehensive oral exams and check-ups in La Puente, CA, you can count on La Puente Advanced Dentistry. Contact us at 626-626-7075 and speak to one of our dentists.