We suggest regular six-monthly visits for our patients for check-ups and hygiene appointments. It is important to schedule regular check-ups even if you feel your teeth and gums are perfectly healthy. Often dental problems will not cause any symptoms during the early stages, but prompt treatment could save you from requiring emergency dental care and will help your natural teeth to last as long as possible.
What to Expect During Your Dental Check Up
Dental check-ups are very non-invasive and are simply an opportunity for our dentist to closely examine your mouth. They will check the condition of your teeth and gums, looking for any signs of gums disease and tooth decay. We do need to take sets of digital dental x-rays at regular intervals, usually every two years or so for an adult in reasonable dental health, or as required to diagnose any potential problems. These x-rays are very safe and show areas that cannot be seen by the naked eye, for example the tooth roots and the contact areas in between each tooth.
Oral Cancer Screening
Our dentist will also check the soft tissues of your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. This condition is becoming more common and can affect the cheeks, lips, tongue and the roof and floor of your mouth. Early detection greatly improves the chances of a good prognosis and this examination is very quick. We use the very latest technology to look for any color changes to the inside of your mouth, as well as any sores or lumps or thickened areas of tissues that could require further investigation. To do this, we have a special fluorescent light as any suspicious areas will fluoresce slightly differently so they will be easy to spot. It is very unlikely we will find anything wrong, but this simple screening can save lives.
Once your dental check-up is complete, we will discuss our findings with you. If you do require any treatment then we can provide a written treatment plan showing the costs of each possible option. To help explain things more clearly, we have intraoral cameras that take images of problem areas that can then be displayed on the screen in our surgery. We will also explain any treatments we think could be helpful to you and questions are always encouraged; we want you to have all the information you need to be in control of your dental health and so you can make the right decision for your needs.
Hygiene appointments are vital for good dental health and we suggest booking an appointment with our hygienist at the same time as your check-up. A hygiene appointment will remove hardened plaque from your teeth which is a substance called tartar or calculus. Tartar consists of bacteria that can infect and inflame your gums and it can easily build up in areas that are difficult to brush or floss, or in areas you might be missing during your regular oral hygiene routine.
Tartar is removed from the tooth surfaces using special ultrasonic hand tools that are extremely gentle. Once it is removed your hygienist may selectively polish some tooth surfaces and this can help to remove some surface stains and it will help to freshen up your breath. Your hygienist can also advise you on how to improve your oral hygiene care at home. They can provide tips on how to brush and floss more effectively or can offer advice on the best tools to use to have great dental health.
Oral hygiene education is a very important part of preventative dentistry so please ask us if you have any questions about your dental care.