A professional check-up by your dentist six monthly is essential to maintaining healthy teeth & gums, avoiding future problems and addressing current problems before they get bigger or cause discomfort.
Dental disease can also affect your health with the latest research showing that periodontal disease may contribute to heart disease, stroke & premature birth. Dental disease may also exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic conditions and many other conditions.
When you have your check-up your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, your gums, your tongue, the surrounding tissues and your mouth & lips in general. They will assess your mouth and chart the existing teeth and fillings, any missing teeth and any abnormalities of the teeth or tissues. The dentist will also look for evidence of any oral cancers or suspect areas, particularly if you fall into one of the high risk categories, such as smoking or alcohol consumption.
The current recommendation by the Australian Dental Association is that X-Rays should be taken to check for decay between teeth every 1-2 years. These form an important part of a thorough check-up & your dentist will remind you when these are due. Sometimes if there is a specific problem X-Rays may be taken more frequently.
A dental clean will be performed at either the check up appointment or soon after. To do a thorough check up the dentist needs to remove any deposits & discoloration so that the surfaces can be seen properly. Tooth deposits and discolored teeth not only look bad but can cause problems with your gums, promote decay and hide decayed areas on your teeth.