What to Expect at Your General Dentist Visit
It is common knowledge that oral health is important and includes regular visits to the general dentist. However, due to busy schedules, there is hardly any time to keep up with those appointments, especially if people do not know what to expect. Routine dental appointments help ensure that potential issues never develop or get out of hand. In this article, you will learn about the importance of regular visits to the general dentist and what to expect.
Routine dental visits
The general dentist will oversee the patient’s appointment, assisted by one or two experienced dental assistants and a dental hygienist if a dental cleaning is necessary. The following section explains what happens during a visit to the general dentist:
Medical history evaluation
In the dental office, the general dentist will ask questions to learn about the patient’s oral health. The patient may need to provide information like the current medications they use, ongoing treatment procedures, allergies and smoking or drinking habits. The dentist will want to know if the patient has a medical condition that is under treatment.
The dentist may also inquire about previous dental procedures, surgeries, and history with anesthesia. With the information that the patient provides, the dentist will be able to take an informed step toward developing an effective treatment plan.
The dentist will then proceed to carefully evaluate the patient’s teeth, jaws, gums and supporting structures. To help with the process, they may request X-ray scans. The images can reveal dental abnormalities that may be hidden from the naked eye. X-rays are not usually necessary at every dental appointment and are only used when the dentist suspects a condition.
The dental exam and results from the X-ray can also help the dentist evaluate the patient’s risk for potential dental problems. This will allow them to take preventive measures before the problem escalates. They will also teach patients on precautions to take to limit the risks of oral problems.
During the meeting, the general dentist will clean off tartar that usually forms on the teeth and gums. Ultrasonic equipment for tooth cleaning is becoming popular. After removing tartar from the teeth, the dentist will polish the patient’s teeth and give instructions for oral hygiene to maintain good oral health.
Oral cancer screening
With the rising number of oral cancer cases, many dentists now include an oral cancer screening during dental appointments. Oral cancer can be life-threating and spread quickly if undetected early. An early oral cancer diagnosis is important for easy treatment. General dentists are trained to detect early signs, and the chances of early diagnosis are higher. The dentist will examine the soft tissues of the mouth and the jaw areas for signs of oral cancer.
Avoiding dental appointments may not seem like a big problem, but oral issues can develop and spread rapidly without timely detection and intervention. Visiting the general dentist regularly for checkups, exams and cleanings can save you from oral health problems in the future.
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