Dental exams and cleanings are routine checkups that deal with a person’s mouth, teeth, and overall oral health. They are performed by a licensed dentist with the help of a dental hygienist. A typical dental checkup routine compromises of a cleaning and a formal examination, which often includes a dental x-ray. If a dentist notices an oral health problem during the examination, there may also be a treatment plan added on to the appointment. To maintain strong and healthy teeth, it is recommended to have a dental exam once every six months.
During a cleaning, either the dentist or dental hygienist will perform a professional teeth cleaning. This is meant to polish the patient’s teeth and remove any debris, plaque, tartar, or stains. If the patient is a child or teenager, this is also the time when the dentist will teach the child how to brush teeth and floss correctly. The cleaning can be performed before or after the dental examination.
During the actual exam, the dentist will check for possible dental problems. These include gum disease, oral cancer, an abnormal bite, missing or broken teeth, and the overall cosmetic appearance of the teeth. This is also the time to check up on any unresolved dental problems that were noticed during a previous checkup. Exams often also entail an x-ray that looks for tooth root decay and cavities. If a patient does have any oral health problems, the dentist will draw up a treatment plan during the appointment. The treatment will either be carried out during the exam or scheduled for a future date.
Maintaining regular dental exams and cleanings are important because oral health is connected to overall health. Regular appointments allow dentists to fix teeth related health problems right away as well as prevent them from getting worse.
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