Do you ever wonder what exactly general dentists do and how they can keep your mouth and teeth healthy? For those who have not had their teeth thoroughly checked in years, it might seem daunting to have to contact a new dentist out of the blue. Ease some of these anxieties by learning the full picture of how a dentist can help your oral health.
What happens during a checkup?
Typically, a dentist tries to see each patient twice a year for a routine checkup. During these checkups, the dentist examines the mouth and teeth and looks for any irregularities or problems that need to be addressed. At the end, the patient may have their teeth cleaned and polished.
During a patient’s initial checkup at a dental facility, either a hygienist or assistant goes over any relevant medical history. This could include current medications, allergies, family history, pregnancy history, serious conditions and more.
Teeth examination and cleaning
The largest amount of time during any checkup is dedicated to cleaning teeth and inspecting the mouth for any problems, such as swelling, sensitive teeth or signs of gum disease. If everything checks out, the cleaning process begins. The dentist and an assistant first work together to scrape off plaque and food that have accumulated on the teeth. After a thorough flossing, the teeth are then polished to finish the job.
While it may not happen during every appointment, sometimes the dentist may wish for further examination of dental structures. Dental X-rays give the dentist enough information to determine whether there are underlying problems with a patient’s jaws and gum lines. If a problem is detected, the dentist will go over the necessary steps that need to be taken.
What procedures can a dentist provide?
In addition to regular checkups, general dentists can provide a vast array of services to patients. These procedures act to support the integrity of dental structures or to make repairs.
Braces, while most commonly associated with the area of orthodontics, can also be administered and monitored by some dentists. Overseeing every step of the process, dentists maintain braces from initial consultation to final retainer. Dentists can also remove severely damaged or ingrown teeth via an extraction to stop overcrowding.
Dealing with decay
One of the most popular services many general dentists perform is filling damaged or decayed teeth with a crown. For gaps of multiple missing teeth, bridges can perform a similar function. For massive gaps in teeth, dentures and other types of false teeth can replace a patient’s smile. Root canals and fillings remove decay from teeth and prevent serious infections from arising in teeth that have been damaged by injury or bacteria.
The health of a person’s mouth is as important as the maintenance and health of any other area of the body. Taking the time to find the right general dentist is key to receiving the highest possible standard of oral care available.
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