They may be one of your least favourite things, but dental check-ups are essential to your general well-being. As you lie there with your mouth open, you might wonder what exactly your dentist is doing by counting your teeth.
What’s actually happening is that your dentist is looking for change – and for potential problems that may arise in the future. Positive changes since your last check-up can include an improvement in brushing or reduced plaque, while negatives look like gum disease or broken crowns. A thorough examination can also predict how long the health of your teeth will hold out.
During a check-up you can expect your dentist to examine your teeth, gums and tongue, looking for decay or signs of oral cancer. They may use a probe to measure the gap between your teeth and gums and a mirror to reach the back of your mouth. If anything specific shows up, your dentist will recommend treatment or a clean and polish or refer you to a specialist. Use this opportunity to discuss any symptoms you have so that they may be caught early. Sometimes oral problems indicate an issue elsewhere.
If you experience anxiety about your visit, let your dentist know, but don’t let your fear put you off organising a check-up. According to the BBC, patients who are frightened of the dentist are less likely to require sedation when undergoing treatment following a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This is a preventative measure on two counts: a check-up to ward off issues that may require surgery, and therapy to make the process less stressful.
Problems with your teeth can be painful and debilitating, and dental work to fix them can be expensive. Regular dental check-ups can head off a problem before it gets out of control. As the Telegraph suggests, fillings can do more harm than good – a check-up can easily identify a worrisome tooth before it needs filling and save you the trouble. If you end up needing larger scale work such as that offered by Dental Implants Cardiff clinic https://cathedraldentalclinic.com/dental-implant-cardiff-2/ you will be able to discuss the work need, such as implants, and any payment plans available, with your chosen dental specialist. Implants are a specialist treatment that is usually conducted over a number of sessions and whilst a check up will identify problems with your teeth, this is not the time when any restorative work would take place.
It’s recommended that you visit your dentist for a check-up every six months to keep on top of your oral health.