01 Dec 2016 Dental Cleaning, Exams And Xrays. What You Need To Know
If prospective patients wish to continue enjoying excellent dental health throughout the entirety of their lives, they will of course want to have regular dental cleanings, exams, and Xrays. Dental professionals will be able to assess the condition of the mouth and ensure that small cavities are caught before they balloon into incidents of significant tooth decay. Regular visits will protect both teeth and gum tissue from formidable problems.
At a typical first appointment, each tooth will be examined in detail. Dental professionals will note the condition of the teeth as well as any decay that is currently ongoing. Large amounts of plaque or tartar will usually indicate that brushing and flossing habits need to be overhauled. Previously installed crowns and bridges will also be examined to make sure that they are still viable.
Dentists will also check to see if there is a need for fluoride. Acidic foods and drinks can wear away the protective hard enamel that encompasses each tooth. When this enamel is worn away, the yellowish dentin underneath will be exposed. Dentists can initiate a rigorous fluoride treatment that will protect the remaining enamel and recrystallize other areas that are beginning to wear away. Teeth that are lacking in fluoride treatments will generally have small grooves that are worn into the bone. By rectifying this, cosmetic issues can be nipped in the bud before they grow worse.
A thorough dental cleaning is done every six months so that any plaque that has begun to adhere to the teeth can be removed. Plaque that is allowed to harden into calculus will be more difficult to remove. Serious calculus accumulation, in fact, can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. The latter may loosen the connections between the gums and the anchor bone, which can eventually cause loose or missing teeth. Patients who have their teeth cleaned at six-month intervals will avoid both tooth decay and gingivitis, especially if they practice proper oral hygiene at home.
Dental Xrays are typically done every six months with patients who have had previous instances of tooth decay or gum disease. Patients with sparkling dental health, on the other hand, will have Xrays every few years. Xrays are used to check for the following potential issues:
- bone loss
- root canal infections
- abscesses near the root of the tooth
- possible cysts or tumors
- areas of decay that cannot typically be checked with physical exams
Xrays use comparatively tiny amounts of radiation to examine the overall tooth structure of the individual, and the associated risk is very small. Leaded aprons will lessen the exposure to the abdominal area, and pregnant women need not be worried that the fetus will be adversely affected.
Ultimately, dental exams and cleanings should be performed every six months. Xrays typically are done every few years in healthy patients, except with individuals who are identified as having current dental issues. People in need of a check-up should not hesitate to call their trusted dentist for information on scheduling a dental cleaning.