What is Your Dentist Looking for During a Checkup?

Every six months (and for some patients, more often), children and adults alike should attend a dental checkup and cleaning appointment. Besides removing plaque and tartar from your teeth, the visit allows your dentist to thoroughly examine your oral tissues to make sure they don’t exhibit signs of issues that may require treatment.

However, a dental checkup involves more than just a cursory glance into your mouth. The examination includes a visual inspection of the hard-to-see areas of your mouth and throat, as well as every surface of your teeth, the soft tissues at the root and floor of your mouth, and more.

The Point of a Checkup

Every patient, including young children, should attend regular checkups so their dentist can keep a close eye on their dental health. The point of the visits are to prevent issues from forming, like cavities and gum disease, that could require more extensive treatment later if not addressed in a timely fashion. For instance, by detecting tooth decay early, the dentist may be able to prevent the full development of a cavity. By addressing gingivitis before it grows more severe, your dentist can help prevent full blown gum disease and an increased risk of tooth loss.

Likewise, dental checkups include thorough oral cancer screenings where your dentist will specifically look for sores, lumps, lesions, and other potential warning signs of oral cancer. Like more common dental issues, early detection and treatment of oral cancer offers the best chances at successful treatment.

filed under: Preventive Treatments