Regular Checkups — More Than Meets the Eye
Is it time for your checkup? Do you wonder what we are doing when we peer into your mouth? There is more involved in a regular checkup than most people realize. We recommend a checkup every six months, or more often, depending upon your specific needs. Read on to discover why regular dental exams and cleanings are so vital to your oral health.
Two Steps in a Checkup
The typical checkup is a two-step process — the examination and the cleaning. Both are vital to your oral health — as well as your overall health in general.
Do you know all the things our dentists look for in a dental exam? We examine your teeth for cavities or other signs of decay or damage. We will examine the condition of existing restorations, such as crowns and fillings, to ensure all is well. X-rays may be required for this. X-rays also help us examine the jaw bone and search for conditions that may not be visible from surface examination alone.
We will also look for other signs of disease and deterioration, such as gum disease or oral cancer. We are trained to see the early signs, and waiting until you notice them yourself may be too late. Both gum disease and cancer can progress rapidly, so catching the diseases early makes a huge difference in successful treatment.
The cleaning part of a regular checkup is important because even the most conscientious brushing and flossing may not prevent tartar buildup. Tartar forms when plaque hardens and bonds to tooth enamel, and it cannot be removed by brushing at home. Removing it requires special tools, which means a visit to our office and a procedure known as scaling. After your teeth are scaled, they are polished and flossed.
If any conditions are discovered during the checkup that require additional care, we will draw up a treatment plan with you to resolve the issues to restore and maintain your healthy smile.
Good Oral Health Is a Partnership
Maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile depends on taking care of your teeth at home through proper oral hygiene and keeping regularly scheduled visits to our office for checkups to prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. If you have any questions, or need to schedule a dental checkup, call our office today.
Dr. Sonny Afshar