Routine dental visits, scheduled at 6 to 9-month intervals or more frequently if necessary, are critical not only for the health of our smiles, but for our overall health, too.
A routine visit with the dentist and hygienist not only helps to detect any oral problems early, before more extensive treatment may be required to resolve, but also ensures that the teeth and gums are kept free from plaque and/or tartar accumulation.
Let’s talk more about what a patient can expect during their routine dental exam and cleaning appointment, in addition to the reasons behind these dental care practices.
Dentists use special tools to closely inspect the inside of a mouth for oral health problems, such as a metal probe to feel for warning signs of tooth decay and an angled mirror to visualize behind and in between the teeth. Dentists will not only check for typical dental issues regarding the teeth, but will also examine the gums and soft tissues for signs of gum disease including any swelling, redness, or sores.
Furthermore, the dentist will check the patient’s bite to make sure the jaws are properly aligned, and will even check for any signs of jaw clenching or grinding (a destructive habit referred to as “bruxism” that generally occurs during sleep).
Digital dental X-rays may also be taken in order to help the dentist detect potential issues that are deeper and not visible to the naked eye, such as with the tooth roots or below the surface enamel layer. Fortunately, X-rays today are very safe for the patient as they emit 80 to 90 percent less radiation compared to traditional film X-ray imaging.
In addition to going over a patient’s dental health and general medical history with them, dentists will also perform an oral cancer examination during every routine dental appointment. He or she will be on the lookout for certain warning signs such as suspicious lesions, sores, ulcers, lumps in the mouth and neck general area, as well as any unexplained bleeding or blocked salivary glands.
On the other hand, severely bad breath and gum infection may be indicative of a medical condition like diabetes in a patient, as diabetics tend to be more prone to gum health issues. Bone loss is another potential sign of diabetes. Every patient should be aware of these issues, and should see their general health practitioner about it if the dentist notices such signs.
Dental hygienists use specialized tools to remove and scrape away stubborn deposits of plaque and/or tartar from the surfaces of the teeth and below the gum line. These are instances of hardened bacteria that can’t simply be removed through toothbrushing and flossing at home alone. This requires professional intervention.
A fluoride application treatment may be performed during a patient’s visit as an extra preventive step, particularly if they are especially prone to tooth decay and cavities.
Regular dental exams and cleanings are essential components of maintaining good dental hygiene.
Schedule your next routine dental visit with our expert Danforth dentist and team today!
We are conveniently located near Greektown on the TTC Danforth Avenue subway line between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue.
1411 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4J 1N2