A dental checkup begins with a visual exam of your teeth and gums followed by a cleaning to remove plaque, tartar and disease-causing bacteria. Once the cleaning is complete and any necessary x-rays are taken, each tooth will be carefully evaluated using special instruments to check for signs of decay and other issues. Your gums will also be assessed for signs of gum disease, or periodontal disease. An oral cancer screening will also be performed to look for areas that might need further evaluation. Finally, you'll learn about treatment recommendations and have plenty of time to ask questions about your care and your oral health.
X-rays aren't usually taken at every appointment unless the checkup reveals a potential issue like deep decay. On occasion, though, you will need x-rays in order to evaluate the health of your teeth below the gum line in areas that can't be evaluated visually. X-rays can reveal issues with the roots, the lower portion of your teeth or even the jaw itself so they can be corrected before major problems develop.
If your checkup reveals a cavity, a treatment plan will be mapped out to remove the decay and treat the cavity with either a metal amalgam filling or a composite resin filling, depending on your needs and your preferences. You'll probably also have an x-ray to determine the extent of the decay.
The American Dental Association recommends adults and kids have dental checkups twice a year, or every six months. Twice-yearly dental checkups ensure issues can be caught and corrected early so your healthy teeth and gums are preserved.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!