Your reminder has come through, it is that time of year again, you are due for your routine dental appointment. You do not have any problems, surely it won’t matter if you put it off for a couple of months?
At your routine appointment, the dentist will perform checks, that will aim to identify any issues, before they become problems that can cause you pain or discomfort. This will help to reduce the need for extensive, expensive treatment. The dentist will:
1. Evaluate your risk of tooth decay
Tooth decay can be caused by a wide variety of factors. The dentist will assess your risk of cavities and provide advice on preventing tooth decay. The dentist may also take x-rays. X-rays allow the dentist to see if decay is present in areas that are not visible to the naked eye, such as between teeth, under crowns and fillings and in tooth roots. The dentist will also scale and polish your teeth to remove any plaque and calculus build-up, which if left can provide a haven for decay causing bacteria.
2. Mouth Cancer check
Oral cancers are some of the few cancers which are currently seeing a rise in diagnosis. The dentist will check the tissues both inside and outside your mouth to determine if there are any areas of concern. If they spot anything they will refer you to a specialist. If detected early oral cancers have a very good survival rate.
3. Look for signs of gum disease
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK. By attending for routine dental appointments, the dentist will be able to identify the early signs of gum disease and put in place a treatment plan. Gum disease can be effectively treated with improved oral hygiene and regular hygienist appointments.
4. Examine your jaw and bite and assess the need for dental restorations
Does your jaw click or pop, cause you discomfort or lock? The dentist may be able to offer treatments such as mouth guards to lessen your discomfort or refer you to a specialist for further treatment. The dentist will also discuss all the options for any restorations needed.
5. Oral hygiene advice
The dentist will refer you to the hygienist who will remove any plaque or calculus that has built up on your teeth and advise you on the best oral hygiene routine to follow in between appointments to ensure that your teeth remain in tip top condition. As well as giving you advice on lifestyle changes that will improve the health of your teeth. For example, quitting smoking or changing your diet.