Did you know that 30% of Australians only visit the dentist when they experience dental problems? Surprisingly, more than 50% of Australian adults neglect their 6 monthly dental checkups, leaving them three times more likely to have untreated tooth decay or gum disease.
While the cost of dental visits may seem daunting, especially if your teeth appear to be in good condition, you might be unaware of potential issues developing beneath the surface. If you’ve been sceptical about the necessity of routine dental checkups, believing they are only for reactive or immediate mouth problems, it’s time to reconsider. By detecting and treating problems early on, your routing dental checkup is your armour against dental issues. In this blog, we aim to help you understand what takes place during a routine dental checkup and its preventive role in promoting your overall health and well-being. Continue reading to discover more.
Importance of Routine Dental Checkups
Dental checkups allow your dentists to examine your mouth, checking for problems such as the onset of tooth decay, gum diseases or an impacted wisdom tooth. For children, dental checkups can help with early intervention of orthodontic issues, which can be pivotal in formulating an early treatment plan for the correction of misaligned teeth or jaws, preventing the need for more extensive future treatments.
Routine dental checkups also include professional cleaning to remove plaque or tartar buildup, which can lead to gingivitis if not removed. Additionally, you get the opportunity to learn valuable oral hygiene tips and instructions to learn proper oral hygiene practices. This allows you to maintain your oral health and get personalised recommendations on age-appropriate oral care tools and products, along with answers to any questions or concerns you may have.
What Happens During a Routine Dental Checkup
A routine dental checkup generally involves:
A dental checkup begins with a comprehensive oral examination to assess your dental health and the condition of your teeth and gums. At Dana Street Dental, our friendly dentists take time to get to know you, listening and understanding your concerns before conducting an examination. We advocate lifestyle dentistry which aims at familiarising ourselves with your lifestyle and medical and oral history to formulate bespoke treatments and recommendations.
Our dentists perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, soft tissues, jaw and jaw joint. We will assess the quality of previous dental work, look at the alignment of your teeth, as well as assess the functionality of your muscles and joints. Our dentists are trained to screen for oral cancers as well as airway obstructive conditions such as sleep apnoea. . Depending on the patient’s age, we may conduct a thorough gum evaluation which involves measuring the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. This measurement, known as periodontal probing, helps determine if you have gum disease. For those interested in some cosmetic improvement of their smile, our dentist may take some photos, scans and measurements so we could work out an ideal treatment plan tailored to our patients’ needs.
X-rays are often taken during routine dental check-ups to get a more comprehensive view of your oral health. X-rays can reveal hidden dental issues, such as cavities between teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, or bone loss. The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your dental history and risk factors.
If you have not gotten any dental X-rays done for two years or more, our dentists may take a current set to accurately evaluate your dental condition.
Findings & Tailored Treatment Plan
If our dentists identify any potential problems, we will share them with evidence-based reports and recommendations to tailor personalised treatment plans. All options will be discussed with you, prioritising your comfort and preferences to allow you to make an informed decision. If there is nothing that needs immediate attention, we will advise you on the follow-up and estimated time for your next dental checkup after cleaning and fluoride treatment.
One of the most important parts of a dental checkup is a professional cleaning of your teeth and gums. Our dentists use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, especially in hard-to-reach areas, for a whole mouth clean.
The last step involves applying fluoride to your teeth for added protection against decay and strengthening tooth enamel for lasting durability and a smoother finish.
How Often Should You Have a Dental Checkup?
It is recommended to have a dental checkup every 6 to 12 months to help maintain your oral health and prevent dental problems. But it’s important to understand that having healthy teeth and gums does not necessarily give you a free pass against oral checkups. Though it can ensure the frequency between each checkup is longer. Your dentist is the best person to advise you about when to get a dental checkup. For some people, a dental checkup can be once a year, while for those prone to gum disease or dental decay, our dentists may recommend a visit every 6 months instead.
Optimal Oral Health is Only a Checkup Away!
At our Ballarat Clinic, we strive to make quality dental care accessible for everyone. With a convenient location, a caring team, and extended timings, we’re here to help you achieve optimal oral health and a flawless, lasting smile. Book your dental checkup appointment today.