why dental checkups are essential

Day-to-day life is busy due to our at-home and work responsibilities. Because of this, things can be overlooked like our dental hygiene. Many people may think that if they brush and floss their teeth every day their smiles will remain in good condition. While this is important, attending dental checkups is another essential aspect of maintaining optimal oral health.

At Agape Dental, our team is at your disposal. So, if you’re interested in scheduling your next dental checkup, get in touch with us today.

What Happens During a Dental Checkup? 

Dental checkups are quick, preventative appointments that enable your dentist in Millwoods to assess the state of your mouth and smile, identify concerns, and provide subsequent treatment if needed. Dentists and hygienists are there to support you as you navigate this lifelong journey and can aid you if you have questions and educate you about the different aspects of preventative dental care.

Generally, dental checkups near you (also called exams or evaluations) take just a few minutes to perform. However, if you’re dealing with more extensive issues like gingivitis, your appointment will last longer since your dentist will need to perform a more thorough inspection.

Outlined below are the aspects involved in a checkup from a dentist near you:

  1. Medical Review: Our dentist will begin by walking through your medical history. Knowing about your allergies, medications, and whether you’re dealing with other health conditions helps them understand how this may impact your oral health.
  2. Visual Exam. Your gums, teeth, tongues, and cheeks will be assessed; any unhealthy signs like cavities, swelling, or abscesses will be noted. Your dentist will also evaluate your bite pattern using digital scans to address any problems related to overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, crowding, spacing, worn down teeth, and missing teeth. Bite issues, also known as malocclusion, affect not only the appearance of your smile, but they can cause TMJ dysfunction, speech impairment, and sleep issues.
  3. X-rays. X-rays are just as important as the exam because they enable your dental team to see your inner-most structures, such as the jawbone and tooth roots.

After the checkup has concluded, a few different things can take place. For most patients, they will have their teeth cleaned and polished. An oral cancer screening may also be done to ensure that no lesions, unusual tissue patches, or tumors are present – if this is the case, a biopsy will be collected and sent to a medical laboratory for analysis.

If you require further dental work like a filling, crown, or root canal, your dentist will devise a customized treatment plan and explain what’s involved. The front desk receptionist or the dental assistance will schedule your next appointment and if you have dental insurance, do your insurance check.

Why is it Important to Attend Dental Checkups? 

You should be scheduling and attending dental checkups twice a year. High-risk individuals, elderly patients, and those dealing with conditions like gum disease will be advised to book checkups more often.

There are several benefits to dental checkups for patients of all ages, and they are as follows:

  • Early Detections of Cancer

Cancer continues to impact the lives of hundreds of people every year, and oral cancer is no exception. Because it can manifest in different ways, it is essential to keep an eye on your smile and the state of your hygiene.

Furthermore, dentists are highly trained to identify the signs and symptoms of cancer, which include ores that don’t heal, loose teeth, it hurts to swallow, and ear pain. They will perform a lymph node, neck, and jaw assessment during your exam.

Once the root cause of these symptoms is addressed, the sooner your oral health can return to normal.

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal and Preventing Tooth Decay

Everyone has trouble effectively brushing certain areas in their mouth, namely around our molars. Therefore, food debris and other bacteria can build up in these crevices. When it is left undisturbed, that plaque turns into tartar, and only a dentist can remove it.

Tartar, which can erode your tooth enamel and harm your tooth’s structure, is formed from infrequent professional cleanings and inadequate oral hygiene. Erosion of tooth enamel and the greater tooth structure causes cavities to form. There are no early warning signs that indicate when cavities form; when you start to experience a dull ache, the tooth is already decayed. If this happens, you will need to visit your dentist for more than a checkup.

Cavities can be prevented though good oral hygiene, but certainly regular professional dental cleanings that remove plaque and tartar before they cause any problems. Checkups and cleanings are much more affordable and far less costly than getting fillings or other extensive treatment.

  • Helps Prevents Gum Disease to Maintain Good Overall Health

In severe cases, when plaque and tartar accumulate on your smile, it will transform into gum (periodontal) disease. Gingivitis is the beginning stage and is often painless. Gingivitis can be reversed, but once the disease progresses past this point, it can only be managed. Studies show that oral health is linked to overall health and specifically, gum disease is known to be linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Gum disease is not easily detected in its early stages because it does not tend to cause pain. You may not know you have this condition until your gums start to bleed, recede, or your teeth feel loose. That is why it is important to have regular dental checkups so your dentist can check for signs of gum disease.

  • Addressing Bad Habits 

Dentists are more than just teeth cleaners; they are experts in their field, and due to their extensive training, they understand how to empower and educate patients of different ages and tailor their recommendations to their requirements. Dental education entails discussing habits like smoking, nail-biting, eating sweets, and infrequent brushing.

  • Seeing Things Below the Surface 

Don’t underestimate the significance of x-rays. Dentists find problems with your teeth and gums through x-rays. Traditional film or digitized technology is employed to capture detailed images of your oral cavity below the gum line. Alongside your jawbone, tooth pulp, and roots, x-rays can highlight your sinuses and nerves. Tumors, impacted teeth, and cysts (a sac filled with air or fluid) can also be identified. Nowadays, most dental practices prefer digital x-rays, which emits significantly less radiation.

Dentists use x-rays to plan and perform surgeries like implantation and root canals.

Lastly, dental checkups help boost your general health and your self-esteem. Keeping your mouth clean will stop infections and pain from impacting other areas of your body, like your head, neck, and shoulders. When your teeth function properly, they help you break down the food you eat that nourishes your system. And everyone knows that a healthy smile is a beautiful smile, which can do wonders when it comes to making a lasting impression.

Come into Agape Dental for Quality Preventative Dentistry 

Has the time come for you to arrange your next dental checkup in Millwoods? Come into our practice or give us a call to arrange a time to meet with our dentist. We are dedicated and passionate about collaborating with patients and their families; your smile goals matter to us and ensuring that your smile stays healthy is the first step in achieving them.

Let us know if you have any inquiries about our dental checkups. We hope to see you soon!