Getting The Maximum Benefit From Your Dental Visit
In order to get the maximum benefit from every dental visit, be sure to keep your dentist informed about your oral health and your overall health. Your dentist needs to know about any abnormal symptoms related to oral health, including pain or sensitivity in the teeth and gums, problems with chewing or swallowing, or pain in your mouth or jaw, or if you suspect that you have new cavities or lesions. Don’t wait for the dentist to find a sore spot or hope that he or she will miss it. It’s important to catch new dental symptoms early so they can be treated before they become severe.
In addition, be sure to tell your dentist about any medical conditions that have occurred since your last visit, such as pregnancy or chemotherapy. And if you do take medications, bring a list of them to each dental visit. Your dentist will want to be sure that any medications he or she might prescribe for an oral health problem won’t have a bad interaction with any medications that you are taking for other conditions.
There are two main types of dental visits: the standard checkup and cleaning and the comprehensive exam.
This type of exam may be done as part of your first visit to a new dentist. The dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, head and neck, and possibly take x-rays.
A standard checkup or dental prophylaxis consists of cleaning the teeth by removing plaque and tartar to prevent cavities and gum disease. It also should include oral cancer and periodontal examinations.
Most dentists recommend a standard checkup once or twice a year to help promote oral health and catch problems early.