Posts for tag: dental exam
How often should I go to the dentist?
The answer to this question is not the same for everyone. A dental professional considers many factors when deciding on a suitable recare schedule. It is the job of the dental professional to make recommendations based on your oral health needs, not on what your insurance will cover. More frequent visits may help you to achieve your oral health goals.
Things dental professionals consider when deciding on the recare interval:
Inflammation - This is a significant consideration since inflammation in the mouth can negatively affect overall health. Studies show that there are links between oral health and systemic health. The bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream to other areas of the body, which may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. Tell-tale signs of inflammation are red, tender and swollen gums, bleeding when brushing and flossing and bad breath.
Periodontal Disease - This is a form of gum disease that has progressed to the destruction and loss of the bone supporting the teeth. More frequent cleanings are needed to maintain the bone and keep the inflammation under control.
Cavity Risk - When someone has a high risk of cavities, it is essential to have regular check-ups to find any decay early before it becomes a more serious dental issue.
Calculus/Tartar - Some people are more prone to getting tartar build-up and need more frequent cleanings to prevent gum disease.
Oral Hygiene - How well you can keep your teeth clean between dental visits. Motivation and ability are considered. Those with dexterity issues may need more frequent cleanings.
Pregnancy - Hormones produced during pregnancy can increase the risk of inflamed gums. Since gum disease is linked to preterm births and low birth weight babies, it is essential to monitor oral health during pregnancy carefully.
Diabetes - Gum disease and diabetes are closely linked, especially with uncontrolled diabetes. Those with diabetes may have delayed healing and less resistance to infection, making them more prone to gum disease.
Lifestyle factors - Those who smoke or drink a lot of coffee and tea may have increased staining of their teeth and may need more frequent cleanings. Smoking is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease, so that will also affect the recare interval.
Orthodontics - Braces, brackets, bands, and wires make it harder to keep teeth clean. Usually, more frequent cleanings are recommended.
There may be other individualized factors that your dental professional will take into consideration. You and your dental professional can come up with a recare plan that works for you both. Call us to get started now: 905-286-1569
Are Dental Exams Necessary?
To determine if dental exams are necessary, it is important to know what they are, and what they entail. Dental exams can be referred to as dental checkups, comprehensive oral exams or complete oral exams. While these terms sound quite similar, there is a difference between a dental checkup and a complete oral exam.
Complete Oral Exam
A complete oral exam is also referred to as a comprehensive oral exam or dental exam. This type of exam can last up to half an hour in some cases. A complete oral exam involves taking a detailed snapshot of your dental health in many areas. These types of exams are done every three to five years.
Most dentists begin by taking photos of the exterior and interior of the mouth. These photos show the color of the gum tissue, other soft tissues in the mouth, and the condition of the teeth. Your dentist will also check your mouth to look for any irregularities, and to screen for oral cancer and other dental conditions.
Each tooth and the surrounding gum tissue is also scrutinized. The condition of the tooth, rotation, and positioning of the tooth is charted. The amount of supporting bone around the tooth is checked to see if it is within normal limits or if it is lacking. Deep areas in the gum tissue, especially those that bleed are also noted.
Dental x-rays are used in a complete oral exam to see the bone levels for each tooth and to monitor the development of teeth in young children and teenagers. Areas of infection or dental decay are also easily seen with the use of x-rays.
A dental checkup lasts a few minutes and focuses on comparing data from previous exams to look for changes. Dental checkups monitor your oral health routinely to look for small changes in oral health. Many times, small dental issues can be treated before they progress to complex dental issues. Often, by the time dental issues become serious, they are also accompanied with pain.
All dental professionals recommended having routine dental checkups at least once or twice a year. Depending on your oral health or past dental history, your dentist may recommend seeing you more frequently. Patients with a high risk of developing dental decay or patients with diabetes are examples of patients who may require more frequent dental checkups.
If you are overdue for your dental exam or dental checkup, contact us at 905-286-1569 to schedule an appointment.