Brushing and flossing aren’t the only steps to oral hygiene. Seeing your dentist regularly is an important preventive measure. It is usually recommended that patients see their dentist every six months, but some patients, including those with diabetes, HIV, and periodontal disease, may need to visit their dentist more often. Dental checkups aren’t just about your teeth. Your dentist is looking for other problems, too. Read on to find out what your dental checkup should consist of.
What Your Dentist Looks For
While your dentist, or hygienist, is monitoring the health of your teeth by checking for wear, chips, cracks, and tooth decay, he or she is also checking for:
- Dental occlusion (the way you bite)
- TMD’s (temporomandibular joint disorders–disorders of your jaw joint)
- Failing or worn-out dental work
- Periodontal disease
- Cosmetic issues
- Signs of oral cancer
During your examination your teeth, gums, and mouth will be assessed for any changes or signs of problems including cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Your dentist will use a tiny dental mirror and a stainless steel dental tool to poke at your teeth and determine if any cavities are present. The mouth mirror allows him or her to view the sides and back of your teeth. Your dentist should also measure your periodontal pockets between your teeth and gums for signs of gum disease. If any problems come to light, your dentist will discuss possible treatment options with you, or refer you to a specialist such as a periodontist or orthodontist for further treatment. Once a year your dentist will take x-rays of your teeth to look for hidden decay, access the health of your underlying jawbone, and check for other dental problems. Your dental exam will be followed with a professional cleaning and polishing.
ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS DENTIST:
With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.