What to Expect at a Dental Health Checkup

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When you’re having dental problems, it makes sense that you’d go see your dentist. So why would you want to spend time seeing the dentist when you’re not having pain or problems? What if you already have good oral hygiene?

Dr. Datta Malyavantham and his team at Ridgetop Dental Group in Reston, VA recommend seeing a dentist every six months for an oral health checkup. This helps find issues before they become big problems so your teeth stay healthy for a long time. Dental checkups have several benefits.

What To Expect At A Dental Visit

There are two parts to a regular dental checkup: the cleaning and examination. The visit usually starts with a cleaning, where a hygienist will remove hardened plaque, called tartar, from teeth using special tools. The reason tartar needs to be removed is because it can cause oral health problems, such as cavities and gum disease, and it can only be removed in the dentist’s office.

The second part of the dental visit includes the examination. Your dentist and hygienist will check for cavities, take X-rays, and examine the gums, tongue, and back of the throat. These are important checks to perform to make sure the teeth are stable and there are no issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Your gums will be checked with a special tool to measure the depth of the spaces between teeth and gums. When the gums are healthy, there are shallow spaces between teeth, but as gum disease progresses, the spaces become deeper, allowing more bacteria to settle and damage the teeth and gums. Preventing this vicious cycle from beginning is easier than treating gum disease after it progresses. Gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss and is also linked to other diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Why Are Professional Teeth Cleanings Necessary?

During your cleaning, the hygienist will scrape the tartar that has lodged in hard-to-reach places in the mouth, such as between teeth and at the bases of the teeth. This process is called scaling. After scaling, your hygienist will use toothpaste to remove surface stains and residual plaque. Finally, your teeth are flossed to remove plaque from between teeth and prevent gum disease.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Reston, VA

Scheduling and keeping checkups with your dentist is essential to maintaining good oral health and will help you avoid potentially uncomfortable and expensive procedures. If you need a checkup, contact our office online or by phone today.

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