Routine Dental Examination

Introduction –Routine Dental Examination

The routine dental examination is as important as general health check-up done by a physician. The teeth are very precious and if not taken good care, they need extensive treatment.  As it is said, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, regular dental check-up is essential.

The standard recommendation for dental check-ups and cleanings is to meet the dentist at least twice a year. This is a general frequency level for working as well as business class of people in good dental health. However, in some people with gum disease, in persons having a genetic predisposition for plaque or cavities, or with a weakened immune system may need to visit the dentist more often for proper care.

The dentist can be able to treat any other oral problems found at the visit.
There are certain life-events which cause stress or illness result in changes in the mouth or the development of an infection. This makes more frequent visits to the dentist necessary. On the other hand, some people take good care of their teeth and gums as well as have spent years without any dental problems may be allowed to lengthen the time between visits. At first visit, make sure to ask the dentist about the best suited visiting schedule for state of the patient’s dental health.

The reasons in strong support of the twice-yearly schedule of dental visits are:

  1. The dentist can check the problems which are not seen or felt by the patient.
  2. Early signs of decay which are not visible or do not cause pain until in advanced stage can be diagnosed by the dentist.
  3. The dentist can be able to treat any other oral problems found at the visit. This is because the earlier a problem is found; the easier it is to manage.

The essential information to be shared with the dentist at the first visit before starting any treatment:

Before assessing the oral health, the dentist may want to know more about the general health of the patient. Areas that he or she usually addresses with the patient can include:

  1. Detailed Medical history

The dentist should be informed about any disease that the patient is diagnosed with. Some diseases can cause increases in the risk of periodontal disease or might require the use of some different type of anesthesia or may require a different approach for treatment as well as prevention of oral health problems.

  1. All medications being taken currently by the patient along with their dosages should be informed. This is important for three reasons:
  • Some medicines can cause side effects like dry mouth or can increase the risk of dental cavities.
  • The choice of anesthesia depends on these medications
  • Interactions with the medication already being taken.
  1. Current dental health

The patient should not hesitate in informing about sensitive teeth, feeling of any lumps or bumps, feeling of having a dental cavity or any other oral health problems. By informing the symptoms being experienced, the patient can help the dentist to make an early diagnosis of a dental problem.

  1. Dental fears

Dental treatments have changed drastically in recent years and so have the pain management options. The dentist can allay dental fears, can reduce pain and can make the patient more comfortable by discussing various issues.

Events at the typical exam appointment:

The usual dental exam visit involves the following oral health care activities:

  1. The dentist does the following things initially:
  • An initial detail oral examination of gums and teeth is conducted
  • Any changes in overall health and medicine use is diagnosed
  • General information about caring for the teeth and gums is given and any questions of the patient about dental health are answered.
  • Any oral health problems are diagnosed and treatment recommendations are made.
  1. Cleaning

Regular tooth brushing and flossing can help to remove the plaques, but professional cleaning by dentist only can thoroughly clean the teeth and remove the hardened plaque known as calculus or tartar.A series of metal hand instruments are used to clean the teeth. Ultrasonic scalers can also be used for this purpose.

  1. Polishing

After cleaning of teeth, they are polished to remove plaques and stains on the tooth surface. The polish contains an abrasive substance and fluoride and is applied using a small rubber cup or brush attached to the dental hand piece.

  1. Prevention

Additional instructions may be given to the patient to be followed at home, based on the results of the examination. 

  1. X-rays

X-rays may be taken during the dental check-up. The frequency of X-rays is determined by considering clinical examination, dental history, and possible risk for developing cavities.

  1. Treatment recommendations

After any oral health problems are identified during the examination, the dentist makes recommendations for the next steps. The dentist may advice referral to another oral health care specialist, some diagnostic tests, or any restoration work.

- Link of interest: Twitter Routine Dental Examination – Dental Treatment.


This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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