Dental Check Ups and Preventative Dental Care
A dental check up or dental examination appointment gives the dentist a chance to spot any early signs of dental problems, it typically takes less than 30 minutes for routine check ups and around 45 minutes for new patients. This makes treatment for any dental problems easier and cheaper to fix.
When you go in for a dental check up, dental decay between the teeth, beneath fillings or crowns is checked. The dentist will also check the bone quality and quantity of the teeth to check for early signs of gum disease (periodontal disease). The effects of gum disease are irreversible and if it isn’t treated and prevented, it will even cause tooth loss. This is the number one cause of tooth loss in the UK.
The dentist may also check for signs of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is common and can be linked to stress. The damage on the teeth caused by grinding your teeth persistently are irreversible and the jaw could become permanently damaged if the case if severe and left untreated.
The end of the examination is when the dentist will tell you how long you should wait until your next check up. This can range from 3 months to a year depending on the condition of your teeth and the risk of dental problems developing. Usually, patients are told to go for a dental check up every 6 months and children generally require more visits than an adult. It is a good idea to schedule regular check ups to the dentist to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss and infections. Preventative dental care is the best way to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
Along with brushing your teeth twice a day, using alcohol-free mouthwash, flossing regularly and having a balanced diet, visiting your dentist can help to prevent dental problems from developing. There are some treatments that a private dental practice can provide that come under preventative dental care. This includes deep cleaning from a dental hygienist.
Scale and Polish Treatments
If plaque and tartar is left on the teeth, it provides the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. The build up of bacteria can irritate the gums, which can mean that they bleed more easily. You’ll notice this if you're brushing your teeth, or eating, and your gums might bleed a little. This can be the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your dentist or dental hygienist can clean your teeth by scaling and polishing them. They'll additionally suggest an antiseptic mouthwash containing Corsodyl, and show you ways to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Most adults have some extent of gum disease.
If gingivitis not treated it, the inflammation can work its way down towards the foundations of the tooth forming a “periodontal pocket”, with conditions that are ideal for the bacteria to harbour and cause additional harm.
Gum disease will break down the bone structure of the teeth, so eventually; they're going to become loose. However until it gets quite severe, the person usually has no symptoms and the damage to the support structures of the teeth is irreversible. Despite this, if gum disease is caught in time, its progression can be stopped and improved upon.
Scaling is essentially the method of removing dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. The procedure involves the dentist using a device that emits vibrations to loosen big areas of tartar. It’ll spray a cooling mist at the same time that washes away the debris. If your teeth are heavily stained then ‘air abrasion’ could also be needed. Air abrasion is sometimes used as a tooth whitening treatment as well as preparing a tooth for a filling.
During the cleaning process, the dental worker scales away tartar and performs any necessary build-up of bacteria at the same time. Any roughness can be planed away to result in glossy smooth surface.
Fissure sealants are a great preventative treatment for decay in children
No matter how well you clean your back teeth, it's a typical site for decay to develop in children’s teeth. Therefore a helpful strategy is to seal these deep grooves found on the surface of the tooth to prevent decay.
If a tooth is in the stage of developing a cavity you need to get to it as early as possible.
Detecting any early damage will give the dentist a chance to seal it up before there’s a cavity.
Once there's a cavity in a tooth it needs to be drilled all the way through the enamel in order to get rid of the decay within the tooth and place a filling. This will result in the tooth being made weaker so for the remainder of your life the tooth isn't going to be as sturdy.
This is why spotting early signs of decay in children and visiting a dentist for a fissure sealant is important. Fissure sealants allow the groove to be cleaned out again and again without damaging the enamel on the surface of the child’s tooth. The enamel is left intact with a fissure sealant and therefore the tooth stays strong.
Benefits of Preventative Dental Care
You should contact a private dentist to arrange regular check ups. You can also discuss dental maintenance plans, which makes it easier for you to see all the dental treatments that you can be covered by. Taking these extra precautions when it comes to your oral care can ensure that your mouth stays healthy and your smile stays bright.