Dental check-ups are the cornerstone for a healthy mouth and beautiful smile. Regular bi-annual visits with your dentist are important for remove plaque build-up, understanding your oral health, detecting any dental issues early on, and keeping your gums healthy and disease free.
In fact, the most important work your dentist does is performing regular check-ups for their patients. It might be tempting to put off going to the dentist if you suffer from dental anxiety . However, this simply makes the problem worse as your dental health can deteriorate until you require more invasive treatment.
Bi-annual visits to the dentist keep your teeth healthy so that each appointment is less stressful! Also important to consider is that regular check-ups will save you money in the long term, compared to major treatments. In this blog, we’ll give a run-down of what to expect at your regular check-up, so that you and your family can enjoy stress-free appointments.
Looking for the right dentist to entrust with your routine dental care? Schedule your first dental check-up with Health Centered Dentistry for holistic dental care in Anchorage.
Why Should I Have a Dental Check-Up in Anchorage?
Regular check-ups allow your dentist to check whether you have any problems and head off any issues before they develop into bigger problems. Leaving problems as they develop can cause them to get much worse over time, so the best course of action is to deal with them early. This is also important for children, who should learn good dental habits to set them up for long-term oral health. Remember, prevention is always better than a cure.
It’s not just health reasons, however. You can actually save money too. Your regular check-ups can cost less than treatment for a serious issue. If you’re worried about the financial impact of visiting the dentist, check out our financial options.
What Happens During a Dental Check-Up?
There are a few things that will happen at every check-up. These include:
- examining your teeth, gums and mouth
- asking about your general health and any problems you’ve had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit
- looking for signs of oral cancer or other serious oral health issues
- discussing TMJ disorders, sleep apnea, or other health issues that could be related to your oral health
- asking about — and giving advice on —your diet, smoking and alcohol use, and teeth-cleaning habits
- discussing a date for your next visit
In some cases, your dentist may also want to x-ray your teeth and gums to check the health of your roots and the spaces between teeth.
What to Expect During Dental Check-Ups in Anchorage?
Here at Health Centered Dentistry, we care about more than just your oral health. As part of our commitment to holistic dentistry, we take care of your mouth as part of an interconnected system. Dental issues can go on to affect your olfactory and auditory senses, and some serious ailments can lead to oral cancers. Your dentist should check not just your teeth, but also your gums, tongue, cheeks, and other soft tissues in the mouth. They will also check around the outside of the mouth and the neck, during a comprehensive oral health check.
Let’s look at some of the typical components of a routine dental appointment.
Cleaning is included as part of your routine dental appointment, especially if you have significant build-up of calculus and your dentist can’t check certain areas as a result. Cleaning the teeth removes tartar from the upper and lower gumlines. Because tartar is a hard build-up it isn’t removed during regular brushing, so must be removed by the dentist.
Following cleaning, your dentist will also polish your teeth to remove stains. This is often with an abrasive substance which is scrubbed over the teeth with a rotating brush, to give your teeth a natural luster. You then rinse your mouth to get rid of the excess.
Your dentist should also talk to you about preventative care going forward, to prevent the build-up of calculus and tartar in the future. They may demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss, either in your own mouth or on a model. They may also recommend certain products, such as electric toothbrushes.
Taking a dental x-ray of your teeth is not necessarily a part of every visit, but your dentist may want to perform one for a variety of reasons. If you attend a new dentist they may want a baseline image for their records, to compare changes over time. X-rays also allow your dentist to check that the roots of your teeth are healthy, and that there are no small issues in the spaces between your teeth, which can be difficult to see visually. Depending on your dentist, you may only have an x-ray once a year, or you may have one more frequently.
A dentist may want to check the alignment of your teeth and see how they fit together when closed. This is important as it affects how you chew and whether your teeth are rubbing together. They can do this by having you bite into a special wax that will leave an imprint of your teeth.
How Often Should I Have a Dental Check-Up in Anchorage?
When your check-up is finished, your dentist will discuss with you your next visit. They will make a recommendation for your next visit based on your tooth health. In most cases this will be in six months, however, some people might need to come in regularly. The frequency of visits is usually determined by your oral health, so if you have healthy teeth, two routine visits are often enough, but if you have existing issues, you will likely need to attend more frequently. This is another reason it is a good idea to get regular checks as it reduces the need for frequent visits.
What Happens After a Dental Check-Up?
If your dentist finds any sign of a dental issue, they will let you know straight away. Depending on the issue they will recommend a specific procedure to fix it and schedule follow-up appointments. For example, if you have tooth decay or a cavity, they will schedule an appointment for you to get a filling. If your teeth and gums are healthy, the dentist will schedule another routine appointment with you, which will likely be in six months.
Your dentist may also recommend changes to other behaviours that can impact your oral health. They may encourage you to quit smoking or alter your diet if you have a high sugar intake. Bacteria in plaque use sugar as food, so if you consume lots of sugary foods or drinks, they can proliferate in the mouth and cause problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. Smoking and use of other tobacco products or drugs can cause severe effects including oral cancer.
Importantly, your dental check-up is a chance for you to ask your dentist questions about oral health care. If you have any concerns you should talk about them with your dentist, which will help inform your ongoing care. It is also a good idea to ask your dentist about your regular tooth hygiene, such as recommended toothbrushes or flosses.
What If I Need Other Treatments?
While this blog is focused on routine care, we have information about other services we offer on our website. You can read more about:
Get the Best for Dental Care With Anchorage’s Premier Holistic Dentist
At Health Centered Dentistry, we take the time necessary to thoroughly investigate your dental health with every check-up. Whether you have pristine teeth or need more serious treatment, you can rest assured you and your family’s oral health is in the best, most experienced hands at HCD.
Ready to receive the best dental care in Anchorage? Schedule your first comprehensive check-up at Health Centered Dentistry!