Regular Dental Checkup
Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. It’s a critical part of your oral health and something we recommend to all of our patrons. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain proper optimal health.
Regular Dental Checkups
A dental checkup provides us with the opportunity to examine your oral health and monitor any changes that have occurred since your last visit. There are a variety of things a regular dental checkup could include, all of which are critical pieces to your oral health.
Our dental checkup appointments begin with a full examination to provide us a basic overview of your current dental health. We will look carefully to detect any cavities, tooth decay or signs of gum disease. We then conduct a professional cleaning that eliminates any plaque, bacteria and other buildups on the teeth. This process begins with using dental equipment to scrape away accumulations on the teeth and gum line. Then we clean and polish the teeth to address any surface stains and provide a long-lasting sensation of freshness. We also do an oral cancer check on a regular basis to ensure we catch any diseases at early as possible. We check your face, tongue, throat gums and other soft oral tissues for any signs of risk or disease.
Occasionally on visits, we will use digital X-rays to obtain a detailed view of your oral structure detect any conditions that may be hidden beneath the surface such as internal decay, periodontitis, jawbone deterioration, cysts, and oral cancer. We also conduct these efficiently, so any discomfort is minimized, and we share the images with you if it’s necessary.
Why are dental checkups important?
Many oral health concerns can only be detected through a thorough examination by a trained dentist. Dental checkups provide oral cancer screenings, digital X-rays to check for hidden issues, and professional cleanings to eliminate plaque, bacteria and other buildups that daily brushing and flossing won’t effectively eliminate.
How often should you get dental checkups?
Ideally, dental checkups are performed every six months. On your first visit to the dentist, they will ask for a full health history to gain an understanding of your past and current health. From there, regular dental checkups will be used to determine any change in your oral health and keep your teeth and mouth in good shape or maintained appropriately.
The American Dental Association, and most dentists, recommend six months because the maintenance and cleaning provided at each visit is the best way to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
What is an oral cancer screening?
Every time we provide care, we’re observing many different aspects of your overall health. Most people are surprised at the large amount of surface area that lines the mouth. While this lining repairs itself quickly, it is susceptible to changes that may require monitoring or further evaluation.
Oral cancer can afflict anyone although tobacco users put themselves at significantly higher risk than non-users. Chewing tobacco contains up to 3000 different chemicals, including the same compounds used in pesticides and embalming fluid. Cellular changes below the surface aren’t always detectable until they’ve advanced to a critical stage.
However, early detection and treatment of oral cancer significantly increase the chance of a positive outcome. The American Cancer Society reports that about 7,000 deaths result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually. If we suspect any unusual changes in your mouth tissue, we may suggest a biopsy and microscopic analysis by a qualified lab.
Many other non-cancerous changes can occur in your mouth’s tissue, from oral warts to autoimmune lesions. Dr. Hammontree draws on his background in oral pathology to determine if any abnormalities should be removed or simply monitored.
As a side note, we understand tobacco holds powerful addictive powers over many health-conscious people. If you’re determined to quit, we want to be a supportive partner in your efforts. Talk to your hygienist or Dr. Hammontree about strategies and resources for kicking the habit.
What are you waiting for?
We strive to provide high-quality dental care at River Valley Dentistry. Schedule your next regular dental checkup today!