What Happens During Dental Check-ups?
The first step of Dental Check-ups is an assessment. You will be asked questions regarding your health history, the history of your family’s health, and your habits, such as smoking and diet. These questions will be asked in order for the dentist to understand your health better and know risk factors that you may have.
Next, your mouth will be examined. Your dentist will check if there are any cavities, plaques, and tartar (the yellow or brown deposit on the lower part of your teeth) present. They will also check the firmness of your gums to see if you have any symptoms of gum disease.
Following the dental examination are several procedures. Not all of these procedures will be done during a checkup, it all depends on the dentist’s verdict on your oral health. Here are the procedures that can be done and the reasons why you may need them:
Scaling: Scaling is a method of removing tartar and bacteria buildup. This is a non-surgical method and no anaesthetic is required. The dentist will use professional dental tools to carefully clean every area of your mouth.
Polishing: After the scaling process is complete, the dentist will polish your teeth using a polisher made of rubber. Polishing smoothens the teeth and removes stains.
Head and Neck Examination: Besides your mouth, the dentist will also examine your head and neck. The firmness and movements of your jaw will be checked, as well as the condition of the lymph nodes in your neck. Poor jaw movements may indicate gum disease or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, while swollen lymph nodes may be a sign of other health diseases.
X-ray: X-ray is a way for the dentist to see any hidden issues in your mouth. For instance, it can detect the position of the wisdom tooth that is tucked in your gums. X-ray also allows you and the dentist to see the structure of your teeth clearly. If you are pregnant, please notify your dentist as this method is not safe for pregnant women.
Diseases That Can Be Detected Through Dental Checkup
There are many diseases that can be detected through dental checkup, including:
Gum Disease: Caused by bacterial infection, gum disease makes your gums swollen, loose, and bleed easily. If left untreated, gum disease may cause tooth loss and increase the risks of other diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. The early stage of gum disease is usually not painful, so a dental checkup is beneficial to check for early signs of gum disease.
Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is a type of cancer that begins in your mouth area. Generally, cancer is infamous for being a serious disease that is difficult to cure, and therefore, having regular dental checkups is essential to prevent it from developing.
Oral Thrush: Also known as oral candidiasis, oral thrush is a yeast infection that affects the mouth area. This condition is mostly harmless, although it may cause irritations, difficulty swallowing, and weakens the immune system. Babies are prone to oral thrush and can easily spread it to their mothers through breastfeeding, causing their breasts to be painful and itchy.
Wisdom Teeth Infection: The last set of teeth that grows last are the rear molars, which usually appear gradually during the late teenage years or early 20s. Most of the time, however, there are no spaces left for these teeth, and this causes them to become buried in the gums and cause pain. When this happens, it is important to visit the dentist for a checkup and have your wisdom teeth extracted.
Swollen Lymph Nodes: Lymph nodes are located in several different parts of the body, including the neck. During a dental checkup, your dentist will check your neck to see if your lymph nodes are swollen. Swollen lymph nodes may indicate a more serious health issue that needs to be treated, including cancer.