What to Expect at a Dental Visit
Before we discuss what to expect during a dental visit, it is important to ensure you feel comfortable with your dentist in eden prairie mn and their office.
On your initial visit to your dentist, they will obtain a complete health history. This allows the dentist to understand your full health and background. After the initial visit, be sure to discuss any changes in your health with your dentist as this may impact your oral health.
A majority of visits to the dentist are considered checkups. Regular checkups will help ensure your teeth stay clean, last and help prevent serious and sometimes problems from developing. These checkups are recommended every six months for most patients.
A regular visit consists of two parts: a cleaning and a check-up or examination.
A thorough cleaning
Dental check-ups typically include a cleaning from your dentist or often from a dental hygienist. The dentist or dental hygienist will use special instruments to scrape below the gumline and remove built-up plaque or tartar. This is important because if it is not removed, it can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other chronic problem. The cleaning often includes polishing and flossing your teeth.
A full examination
Your dentist will perform a complete examination of your teeth, gums and mouth. During the exam they will look for signs of disease or other issues. The goal of the examination is to maintain good oral health and proactively prevent serious problems. When issues are found early, they can quickly be treated. The check-up should also include a general examination of your tongue, throat, face, head and neck. The broader examination is to identify any swelling, redness and possible signs of cancer.
Based on various factors, your dentist may also suggest you obtain X-rays. X-rays can help identify problems that many not be apparent through a visual examination. Some of these issues can include impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors and tooth decay. Most modern dental offices use machines that don’t emit harmful radiation. As an added precaution, you should always wear the provided lead apron. In addition, be sure to inform your dentist if you are pregnant. In this case, X-rays should only be taken in emergency situations.
Your dentist may request a Panoramic X-ray which is also known as a Panorex. This provides a complete view of your upper and lower jaw. It can help the dentist understand the structure of your bite and teeth.
How Long Should I go Between Visits?
For most patients with healthy teeth and gums, you will only need to see the dentist every three to six months. Additional treatments such as filling a cavity, wisdom teeth removal or other procedures will be handled outside of the normal appointment. Be sure to be open with your dentist on any issues you are having and questions regarding your oral health.
Below are tips for good oral care at home which can help eliminate dental issues which may require additional visits.
- Thoroughly brush your teeth at least twice a day and use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Floss daily to remove food and other debris.
- Use a mouthwash to help prevent and control bacteria.
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