Seeing a dentist should ideally take place at least once a year, if not twice every six months. Annual check-ups may help people avoid severe complications from both a dental and medical health perspective. Most people would be surprised to hear that dentists check the patient’s face and neck for signs of disease, but it’s true. And this includes life-threatening diseases like cancer and how the importance of an annual dental exam cannot be overstated, and why you should book your check-up with Hunts Cross health centre today.
What can you expect from a dental check-up?
A visual examination of the teeth and gingiva
A dentist can glean a lot of information just by looking at the condition of the patient’s teeth and gums. A visual examination will give the dentist insight into your overall oral health and level of hygiene, and this will be important for diagnostic reasons.
Assess the patient’s risk of tooth or root decay
Tooth decay is a common, but an attention-demanding condition. It must be treated quickly, as the decay will worsen with time if left untreated, and may even spread to surrounding teeth.
X-rays won’t always be necessary, but most dentists prefer to take them at least once a year. If there are any concerns with the teeth, bite or jaw, then x-rays will be required for an accurate diagnosis. Intraoral x-rays are the most common type to be taken and can provide a lot of detail to dentist’s when looking for cavities, checking the health of the tooth as well as the surrounding bone.
Check for serious diseases, like cancer
Oral cancer is treatable, in most instances, if it is caught early, or if precancerous tissues are identified before they have a chance to progress further. During a dental examination, the dentist will check for any signs of cancer, including examining the lymph nodes. You can read our previous post on oral cancer here.
Check the patient’s jaw and bite for abnormalities
Jaw and bite abnormalities are rarely the result of anything the patient does but are instead inherited. Although many people adapt to their abnormal bite without any apparent difficulty, allowing it to go untreated can result in eventual complications.
Oral health counselling
During the examination, the dentist may enquire about the patient’s dietary and oral hygiene habits, as well as any medications the patient may be taking. This will likely include questions about tobacco use and about the patient’s overall health, the latter of which can have a significant impact on the patient’s dental health.
There are multiple teeth cleaning methods available, and the proper method will depend on various factors. Regular cleanings are important for continued dental health, and will also uncover any hygiene-related oversights, such as not brushing sufficiently or failing to use dental floss.
For further information regarding dental check-ups please contact the Hunts Cross health centre directly on 0151 486 2697.