What Happens During a Routine Checkup?
If it’s been ages since you’ve seen a dentist, you’re not the only one. It happens all the time. People get busy. They put it off. Time passes.
Then, a new problem emerges. And it has nothing to do with your teeth and gums: embarrassment. Shame. The fear of judgment from having waited so long.
That won’t happen when you see us. Far from it. We’re merely delighted that you’re taking action. And while little can be done about the past, the future is full of possibilities. It all begins with a routine checkup. Here’s what you can expect.
The Phone Call
When you ring our practice you’ll meet our enthusiastic receptionist or practice manager. Ask any question not answered here. Then, we’ll have some questions for you. Besides your personal details and appointment preferences, we’ll want to understand your current dental needs and how we may be able to help. You’ll find this personal and professional. Your newfound sense of hope will have you looking forward to your appointment.
At the appointed day and time you’ll meet the friendly person behind the voice that you spoke to on the telephone. Not only does he or she make things flow smoothly, they coordinate payments and appointments. After checking yourself in make yourself comfortable.
Meet Our Hygienist
The next person you’ll meet is your dental hygienist. Hygienists are trained dental professionals who perform cleanings and other routine dental care. They’re an integral part of our practice and key part of your clinical team
Tell Us More
Before we do anything, we’ll want to know about your medical history and any recent changes to your health. Besides the medications you take, we’ll ask about any allergies, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy and issues related to your overall health. This is when we hope you’ll share any of your concerns or anxieties. The more we get to know you the better we can help you and make your experience a pleasant one.
A Thorough Cleaning
With an appreciation of your concerns, we can get started. To see what’s going on we’ll begin a thorough cleaning. We’ll remove the plaque and tartar that has collected above and below your gum line. This will give the dentist a clear view of your teeth and gums.
The final stage of your cleaning will be tooth polishing. Using a special spinning head, a special type of toothpaste will be used. This makes your teeth smooth and shiny. Not only will they feel great, polishing makes it more difficult for plaque to adhere between checkups.
Meet Your Dentist
With your teeth squeaky clean, you’re ready to meet our dentist. After reviewing your health history, a small metal probe with an angled mirror will be used to inspect your mouth. We’ll be looking for…
- Condition of your tooth enamel
- Gum swelling
- Mouth sores
- Measure periodontal pockets
- Jaw alignment
- Oral cancer
Yet, even a complete visual inspection misses critical aspects of your oral health.
The final aspect of your exam is to take pictures of your mouth. This allows the dentist to see what’s going on between your teeth and even below the gum line. These pictures can reveal if there is any loss of bone, fractures or other abnormalities.
With a full understanding of your current oral health, specific care recommendations and treatment options will be made. Sometimes that involves scheduling future visits for a necessary procedure. In some cases it may include a referral to another dental professional.
Based on the health of your teeth and gums and your health goals, we’ll recommend scheduling future checkups. Regular checkups help detect and correct problems while they are easiest to treat. Preventive care makes sense. Because it’s easier to stay well then it is to get well.