Going to the dentist is a routine part of life for many people. Every six months, we show up for an appointment. And as long as there are no surprises, we leave and go about our lives. But have you ever really thought about the parts of a dentist appointment? Here’s what to expect for your dental exam and professional dental cleaning.
The Parts of Dental Visit
1. The Physical Exam –
The first part of a dental visit is usually with a dental hygienist. The hygienist will perform several aspects of the exam before the dentist comes in. Before your hygienist begins the cleaning part of the visit, they will examine your mouth. They will look for any signs of gum disease, sores, or other possible concerns using a small mirror. If they see something that might be problematic, they may call in the dentist to determine how to proceed.
2. X-rays –
These get taken if you have not been to the dentist in a while, are a new patient, or if your current X-rays are over a year old. However, it may be more often if you have tooth decay or other oral health issues. X-rays let your dental team know of any dental issues.
3. The Cleaning –
Using a scaler, your hygienist will take plaque and tartar off the gum line and from between your teeth. Large amounts of tartar or plaque will be removed with an ultrasonic scaler. This type of scaler uses water plus vibration to clean teeth.
4. Toothpaste and Polishing–
Once your teeth are tartar-free, your hygienist will use a high-powered electric toothbrush to do a deep cleaning and remove lingering tartar the scaler left behind. The toothpaste is grittier than most of the toothpaste you find at the store. There are a variety of flavors to choose from, so you can choose something that appeals to you. The polish used at the dentist’s office makes your teeth look great and protects against tartar and plaque buildup.
5. Flossing –
It can be challenging to floss your teeth, though you should endeavor to do your best. However, when the hygienist flosses your teeth, you know all those spaces between your teeth and at the gumline will be completely debris-free. After flossing, your hygienist will spray water in your move to remove any residue.
6. Dentist Examination –
At the end of your appointment, the dentist will do a final inspection. They will check concerns from the hygienist, look under your tongue for any signs of health concerns, check teeth alignment, and discuss any needed follow-up treatment.
While you are at your appointment, take time to ask any questions you may have about your dental health. Whether it is about the best toothbrush for your personal use, a concern you may have, or some other dental issue, now is the time to ask. Your dental team is there to help.
A dental cleaning is an important appointment that should be on everyone’s calendar two times a year. Have you scheduled your next appointment yet? If not, don’t hesitate to give Advanced Dental Partners a call. We would love to see you and ensure your teeth look and feel their best!