What to Expect During a Routine Dental Visit

A routine dental visit is an important part of preventive dental care for patients of all ages. While daily brushing and flossing are the foundation of good oral hygiene, a routine dental visit takes preventive care to the next level to ensure that your entire mouth is healthy. 

If you’re one of the 100 million Americans who fail to visit a dentist annually, it’s important to understand what’s at risk by avoiding dental visits. 

A routine dental visit can detect problems early, before they require extensive and costly treatment. These visits may also help identify potential changes in your overall health based on the condition of your mouth.

Family dentistry specialist Ifeanyi Ezunu, DDS, and the team at Spectrum Dental Care in Norcross, Georgia, provide a full range of dental services, including routine dental visits.

Whether your visit involves preventive care, diagnosis, or treatment, the professional and caring staff at Spectrum Dental Care ensures that you have the best possible experience. 

Knowing what to expect during a routine dental visit can help you feel more confident and comfortable during the process. It can also help you understand how important these visits are to your oral health and overall well-being. Keep reading to learn what’s involved.

Comprehensive medical history

A routine dental visit typically starts with a comprehensive medical history and review of medications. You may need to provide specifics regarding any health conditions or medications if this is your first visit. If you’re a returning patient, simply update us with any changes.

It’s important to bring any dental devices, such as mouthguards or nightguards, so Dr. Ezunu can determine whether they’re fitted properly or need replacement. 

Oral exam

During the oral exam, Dr. Ezunu examines the surfaces of your teeth, gums, and all around your mouth. He looks for evidence of loose or broken teeth, damaged fillings, tooth decay, and gum disease. A small, hand-held mirror helps him examine the inside surfaces of your teeth.

Your oral exam also includes an evaluation of your risk for periodontal disease, or gum disease. During this painless procedure, Dr. Ezunu uses a dental ruler, called a periodontal probe, to measure the depth of the gap between each tooth and your gum line.

Your routine dental visit may also involve having digital X-rays to identify problems like deterioration of tooth roots and jawbone decay. If you’re a new patient, you may require digital X-rays so Dr. Ezunu can have baseline images for future comparison. 

Based on the results of your oral exam, Dr. Ezunu may recommend treatment or further evaluation. He also explains your options for cosmetic dentistry if you wish to improve the appearance of your teeth. 

Professional teeth cleaning

Your visit includes a professional cleaning to remove plaque, a bacteria-filled film that forms on your teeth. Left untreated, plaque turns into tartar, which causes cavities and gum irritation. Dr. Ezunu uses a hand-held scraper to remove stubborn substances that can lead to tooth decay.

A high-powered electric toothbrush and gritty, professional toothpaste are used to clean the surfaces of your teeth. You also receive a professional flossing so Dr. Ezunu can examine your gums for signs of bleeding.

Based on the results of your dental cleaning, you may receive tips or instruction on improving your technique or hygiene regimen to ensure you get the best results.

Overall health evaluation

A routine dental visit protects more than the health of your teeth and gums. These checkups can help identify signs of oral cancer and other medical conditions that threaten your well-being.

An oral cancer screening involves an examination of your lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, palate, throat, the bottom of your mouth, and your neck and head. Oral cancer affects about  53,000 Americans annually but typically has no symptoms in its early stages when it’s easiest to treat. 

While telltale white or red patches may occur in your mouth, you may not notice them if they develop behind your teeth or under your tongue. An oral cancer screening gives you a better chance of early diagnosis and treatment before the disease spreads.

A routine dental visit may also identify the first signs of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and thyroid disease. Oral symptoms including swollen gums, bad breath, dry mouth, or mouth ulcers occur with about 90% of all systemic diseases.

Don’t procrastinate if you’re overdue for a routine dental visit that can protect your dental health and overall well-being. Schedule an appointment online or call Spectrum Dental Care today.

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