What Takes Place During A Dental Check-Up?

When it comes to taking care of your teeth, you shouldn’t go at it alone.  To ensure that your mouth stays healthy for life, you’ll want the assistance of the top dentist in Newport Beach, CA. During your routine dental exam, we’ll look at much more than just the condition of your teeth to ensure you’re in good shape.

Hygiene Consult

To start your dental check-up appointment, the hygienist will seat you in a room and prep you for an exam with our Newport Beach dentist.

You should take this time to voice any concerns that you have about your oral health. Knowing any conditions that you may have will allow the hygienist to be prepared with all the diagnostic tools the dentist will need.  This could be anywhere from a special kind of x-ray, or a certain instrument.

Another thing you should do is make your hygienist aware of any changes in your medical history. If you were taken off, or put on medications, or had any surgeries since your last dental check-up, then we need to know about it.

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X-Rays

Once your initial hygiene consultation is complete, your hygienist will take the appropriate x-rays which may include one or more of the following:

  • Bitewings – Bitewing x-rays are normally taken once per year and used to diagnose decay that can’t be seen with the naked eye. In adults, this consists of four simple images, and in children, it takes two. Bitewing x-rays only show the upper body of the tooth.
  • Full Mouth X-Rays (FMX) – With patients that are visiting us for the first time, or if it’s been 3-5 years since your last comprehensive series, we will take a set of x-rays called a full mouth x-ray series (FMX). This includes the bitewing x-rays amongst several others that show the entire structure of every tooth, along with the surrounding bone.  These images are known as periapicals or Pas, which include…
  • PAs. – PAs are crucial for diagnosing dental abscesses. When deciding if extracting a problem tooth is best, our dentist in Newport Beach will look at the PA to determine the size, length, and curvature of the roots before making a decision.
  • Panorex or Cat-Scan – A panorex film and cat-scan both reveal the entire anatomy from your nose to the bottom of your chin and are taken once about every five years. These images are invaluable when evaluating permanent teeth in children and ensuring that they’re all accounted for. The films are also used to see the third molars (wisdom teeth) in teenagers and adults. When evaluating a space to see if an implant is a viable solution to replace a missing tooth, these x-rays will be used to measure the jaw bone and check its density. Tumors and other abnormalities can also be spotted with this type of radiograph.

taking-bitewing-x-rayGum Disease Screening

Another important part of your dental exam is to test you for gum disease. Since this is a very serious condition that can cause tooth loss, as well as other health problems, it’s crucial that you get a periodontal evaluation completed at least once a year. If your gum disease screening determines that you have an infection, then you’ll need to get it treated with a procedure called root planing and scaling.

Your Cleaning

If the hygienist determines that your gums are healthy, then they will proceed with cleaning your teeth. Using special instruments, they will remove all plaque and tartar buildup from the tooth surfaces. Your teeth will also be flossed and polished. You may be offered a fluoride treatment, which is great for preventing cavities and reducing sensitivity.

The Dental Exam

Once our dentist comes in to do your exam, she will be checking various things (such as integrity of existing restorations, gum levels, possible cavities, etc.) and using your x-rays to help with diagnosing any abnormal conditions. Your dental check-up also includes an oral cancer screening where our dentist in Newport Beach will check for any suspicious areas like precancerous tissue. Your jaw bone will also be evaluated to ensure that you don’t have TMJ disorder.

If it’s determined that there are certain issues that will require your attention, we’ll discuss them with you to make sure you understand the situation at hand before deciding how to proceed.

If you pass your dental exam with flying colors, then we’ll schedule you to come back in six months’ time for another cleaning and check-up.

Schedule Your Dental Check-Up Today

Don’t go another day without a dental exam. There could be issues going on in your mouth that you aren’t aware of until it’s too late. Dr. Yazdan and the knowledgeable team of The Center For Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry look forward to meeting you and helping you with your oral health for years to come. Call our dentist in Newport Beach today for an appointment.

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