Taking care of your teeth means more than brushing and flossing. For complete care, it’s important to visit a dentist every six months for a regular checkup and professional cleaning. The first step in this process is to find a dentist with whom you feel comfortable, and then schedule an appointment. With Dr. Matteo Clinics, you are in safe hands!
The Dental Checkup: What to Expect
In most cases, our dental hygienist or dentist will perform your dental checkup. A typical dental check up involves:
- Cleaning and polishing. Our dental hygienist will use a special instrument called a hand scaler or ultrasonic dental instrument to scrape and remove the tartar from your teeth. She will then polish your teeth, often with a rotating rubber cup or brush, to remove any remaining plaque or stains.
- Education After the cleaning, Our hygienist will discuss any dental hygiene problems that were detected, and show you how to brush and floss more effectively, if necessary.
- Examination Both our dental hygienist and dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, to look for changes or signs of a problem (for example, a cavity or gum disease or early signs of oral cancer). During the examination, our dentist may also use a special probe to measure the “pockets” between your teeth and gums, an explorer tool to poke at your teeth and determine if any cavities are present, and a mouth mirror to get a better view of the sides and back of your teeth. If you have any visible problems, we may recommend a particular treatment or may refer you to one of our specialists, such as a periodontist or orthodontist, for further treatment.
- X-rays Our specialist may decide to take X-rays of your teeth to look for decay, gum disease, or other dental problems
Sometimes our specialist may require you to have a more thorough dental checkup, which is called a comprehensive examination. You will probably have a comprehensive examination the first time you visit our clinic, and periodically thereafter. During a comprehensive dental examination, our specialists will:
- Thoroughly examine your mouth, head, and neck.
- Discuss your medical history with you.
- Take a series of X-rays
Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Checkup
Since your oral health is closely related to your overall health, it’s important to communicate any concerns or problems you are having with us. Be sure to:
- Tell us about any new health problems you have been diagnosed with since your last visit (for example, diabetes or heart disease).
- Make a list of all medications and supplements you take, including their dosages. Take this list with you to your dental checkup so we can review it.
- Let us know if you suffer from dental anxiety. Fear of the dentist is common, we can work with your anxiety to make you more comfortable during your visit with us.
- Talk to us about any problems or changes you’ve noticed with your teeth, gums, or the inside of your mouth. The earlier we know about any pain, sensitivity, or a suspicious lump, the earlier we can diagnose and treat it.