Patients are often confused about the need for X-rays during a general dentistry appointment. Digital X-rays give dentists the ability to see what is not visible to the naked eyes. Developing oral issues can be quickly detected and treated, hopefully with less invasive procedures. Continue reading to learn more about the relevance of digital X-rays…
What Procedures Are Done at a Dental Checkup?
A dental checkup involves checking your gums and teeth to look for potential issues. Knowing what procedures to expect can help make the process easier for you. You might want to get an exam every six months. But if you have specific issues, you might need a more detailed exam. Keep reading to learn what you should expect.
The importance of getting regular exams
Many children and adults need to have an exam every six months or so. If the gums are bleeding or swollen, the patient might have gum disease. The dentist might need to see the patient more often in that case. In some cases, an adult with the condition might need to go to the dentist several times each year. That prevents the disease from worsening.
What to expect during an exam
Usually, the dentist will start by cleaning the teeth and perhaps doing X-rays. The cleaning involves removing the plaque and tartar using specific dental tools. That gets rid of the bacteria in the mouth and stops it from building up. Next, the patient has the teeth flossed and gently brushed.
Getting the X-ray
First, the patient will have a lead apron placed over the chest to protect it. In some cases, the patient gets another covering for the neck to protect the thyroid from the radiation. Next, the patient will bite down on some plastic. The dentist places the scanner on the outside of the mouth and takes the picture. Often, the dentist is in a protective area.
Some X-rays require repeating the process a few times. The patient might bite down in several areas of the mouth. There are a few kinds of X-rays. For instance, a full-mouth set involves checking the health of the entire mouth. Other types might get taken on each side of the mouth.
Examining the mouth
At the dental checkup, the dentist looks over the X-rays to see if there are issues such as cavities. Next, it is time to check the gums and teeth to see if these are healthy. The dentist might look over the bite, which includes how the bottom and top teeth fit with each other. If there is an issue with the bite, the patient might need to have that addressed.
The dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer. That might include looking over the inside of the mouth. It might involve feeling the jaw and inspecting the roof of the mouth as well. For a dental checkup for a child, the dentist might see if the teeth are developing correctly. Early orthodontic treatment might be necessary.
Choose the right dental checkup today
If you have not been to the dentist in a while, it is the right time to make an appointment. The dentist can determine how often you need to go back after the initial time. Knowing what to expect can help make the process easier for you. Making an appointment today is the first step toward a healthier smile.
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