It is vital for parents to take proper care of their child’s teeth, and this includes scheduling their first dental checkup. Many dental professionals recommend making this appointment within six months of the first tooth’s eruption and ideally before the child’s first birthday. However, if a parent does wait past their first birthday, this guide…
Prepare for Your Next Dental Exam — Dental Health
Your routine dental exam is an opportunity to confirm that your teeth, gums, and mouth are in good shape. Scheduling the appointment is only the first step towards the actual visit. You still need to take more steps to make sure the dental checkup goes smoothly.
The routine dental exam, in broad strokes
Dentists advise their patients to schedule regular dental visits once every six months. They use the opportunity to check that every part of their patient’s mouth is healthy. The dentist will also take corrective measures to improve the condition of the patient’s teeth, gums, and/or soft tissues of the mouth. The average dental check takes three phases:
- A visual exam to check for visible signs of injury, cavities, or tooth decay
- In need be the dentist will request medical imaging to check for dental problems below the gumline
- Next, the dentist will check the mouth, face, and neck for lumps, swelling, lesions, and other abnormalities. They will also screen the patient for oral cancer
- The dentist may immediately correct small dental problems like cavities. Sometimes they will schedule a second appointment if their patient needs a bigger procedure
- Lastly, the dentist will clean their patient’s teeth. They will remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach spots on the teeth
An attentive dentist will walk their patient through every stage of the exam. At the end of the checkup, the patient should get detailed feedback on the state of their oral health. A little preparation can help a person make the most of their dental visit.
Preparing for a routine dental check
It only takes a little time and effort to prepare for a dental exam. Planning is all it takes to ensure a successful dental exam. The following steps help with that:
1. Confirm the date and time of the appointment
It is always a good idea to double-check the particulars of an appointment. Mistakes happen, where staff and patients get their wires crossed. Confirming the date can save time and prevent a scenario where a person shows up too early, too late, or on the wrong day.
2. Make dental records available to a new dentist
For whatever reason, people change dentists all the time. It could be a change in dental coverage or relocation to a new part of the country.
To make the most out of a routine dental check, a new patient should send their dental records well before the day of the appointment. This gives the dentist time to familiarize themselves with the person’s dental history. This way the dentist learns the problem areas (if any) to watch.
3. Clean the teeth before seeing the dentist
Do the dentist a favor and arrive with a clean, fresh mouth. This is easy to do if the appointment is in the morning. The person should still make an effort to clean the mouth if their appointment falls in the middle of the day.
4. Prepare a list of questions and concerns for the dentist
Take advantage of the dentist’s time and knowledge for the duration of the dental visit. Do this by writing down any oral health concerns. Having a list prevents a patient’s concerns from slipping their minds. Note down problems like teeth sensitivity, grinding, or an uncomfortable bite. This type of information allows a dentist to perform a more targeted exam. Have a list of questions about oral health, oral habits, and oral hygiene. The dentist will be happy to share their knowledge for the benefit of their patient.
Routine dental checks can work for you in the long term
Preparing for a dental exam allows you to make the most of your checkup. You can start preparing by getting in touch with our office and making an appointment for a routine dental check. Our staff will be happy to walk you through the process from start to finish.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Exam in Santa Ana, CA.
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