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What Your Dentist Looks for at a Dental Check-Up

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Everybody loves having a beautiful, shining smile, but managing your family’s oral health can seem daunting. Between everything else in your busy life, it may be tempting to put off a dental appointment, especially if you aren’t noticing issues with your or your family’s gums or teeth—but avoiding a check-up could lead to serious problems.

There are many issues that only a dentist can detect—and dental check-ups are your first step towards properly managing these issues and preserving your family’s oral health.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the steps our dental team takes and what issues we look for during a check-up. Our team at Palermo Village Dental believes dental care is an essential part of your overall health, and we design our check-ups to address your family’s unique, individual needs with compassion and empathy.

What Is a Dental Check-Up & When Should You Have One? 

Dental check-ups are the cornerstone of dental care. Generally, we recommend having a dental check-up every 6 months, but we may recommend more frequent check-ups depending on your oral health situation. 

During a dental check-up, our dentist and dental hygienist will talk with you about your medical history and confirm if you have any medical conditions that may affect your oral health. After this conversation, our team will then visually inspect every aspect of your mouth, including your gums, teeth, tongue, cheeks, and jaw (a process we like to call a “healthy mouth assessment“).

Healthy mouth assessments may also include an x-ray examination, which can help reveal issues that may not be easy to spot during our visual inspection. These issues can include impacted wisdom teeth, cavities under crowns, and even bone loss.

Some of the most common oral health concerns we look for during a dental exam include:

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can develop when bacteria and foods form a sticky substance known as plaque on the surface of your teeth. Plaque can attack and erode your tooth’s enamel, creating holes known as cavities that could eventually infect your tooth’s pulp.

Tooth decay and pulp infections can cause toothaches, tooth sensitivity, stains, and even pain while eating.

Gum Disease

As plaque sits on the surface of your teeth, it may start to build up and harden into another substance known as tartar. Tartar coats your teeth can eventually develop under your gum line, leading to gum disease.

Early gum disease, called gingivitis, can cause swollen, red, and bleeding gums and bad breath. Untreated gingivitis can eventually become periodontitis, which could cause your gums to recede from your teeth and possibly lead to tooth and bone loss.

Cosmetic Issues

While we’re here to ensure your teeth are healthy, cosmetic issues like broken, crooked, or missing teeth may prevent you from smiling with the confidence you deserve. 

During the check-up, we’ll look at your cosmetic issues and determine if our cosmetic dentistry services can help. 

Oral Cancer

During a dental check-up, we’ll examine your gums, cheeks, and tongue for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer can cause several symptoms, including white or red spots in your mouth, lip sores, and even painful swallowing.

A female patient undergoing a dental check-up

What’s The Difference Between a Dental Check-Up & Cleaning?

While dental check-ups are vital for detecting issues that may affect your oral health, dental cleanings may help prevent these issues from developing in the first place.

We usually recommend dental cleanings with your dental check-up every 6 months. During a dental cleaning, our dental hygienist will use various tools and techniques to clean away plaque and tartar build-up around your teeth and gums. 

Dental cleanings also include a fluoride treatment, which can help protect your teeth from plaque build-up.

After The Appointment & Follow-Up Care

We’ll discuss our findings after the healthy mouth assessment and let you know if you need further treatment. Some of the most common treatments we may recommend include fillings for cavities or cosmetic dentistry services like bridges, implants, and crowns.

We’ll also provide you with any information you need to take care of your teeth properly. While brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is one of the best ways for protecting your teeth, we may recommend specialty toothpaste, toothbrushes, or flosses to help you make the most of your oral health routine. 

So, Are Dental Checkups Worth the Effort?

Dental check-ups are absolutely worth your family’s time! Check-ups provide a baseline assessment of your family’s oral health needs and give the opportunity to prevent potential issues from developing and damaging your family’s teeth and gums.

We take the time to ensure your family’s dental needs are always being met, and we’ll be happy to develop an oral health plan that is unique as your family is. By having regular dental check-ups and following our dentist’s recommendations, your family can enjoy the healthy smile they deserve. Find out how we can support your family’s oral health by booking an appointment at Palermo Village Dental today!

Written by Dr. Christopher Blair

Dr. Christopher Blair completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree at the University of Toronto. He is an avid cyclist and has often combined his passion for cycling with charitable endeavours. Most notably, Dr. Blair is passionate about his efforts to raise funds to support kids living with cancer and who are cancer survivors. Through his participation in Tour for Kids, Dr. Blair has raised thousands of dollars to support Camp Trillium, Camp Quality, and Camp Oochegeas, 3 camps in the Toronto area that support kids living with cancer.

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