Regular dental check-ups at Comfort Dental in Providence or Central Falls, RI, are essential for maintaining optimal dental health. During your check-up, your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth, gums, other soft tissues, and jaw joints. Regular evaluations will establish a baseline of health and allow your Providence, RI dentist to catch issues early, should they arise.
Your dental check-up may start with a dental assistant or hygienist taking dental x-rays if you’re due for them. Taking x-rays at the start of the appointment ensures they’re ready when the doctor examines your teeth, allowing them to compare the findings from your oral exam with the digital images.
During your examination, your Providence, RI dentist will discuss your concerns (if you’ve been experiencing any pain or discomfort, for example) and your dental health goals. They’ll then start the examination, the findings of which will give them the information they need to create a custom treatment plan.
During your dental check-up, your dentist will check your face, head, and neck for any abnormalities. Any growths, swelling, or muscle tightness that is found could possibly indicate issues that need a biopsy or an evaluation with a medical doctor or physical therapist. This check is an important step in screening for issues such as head or neck cancer.
It is also important to evaluate the health of the other tissues in your mouth, including your lips, tongue, cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth, and throat. Your dentist is looking for abnormalities that can point to infection (yeast, fungal, bacterial, or viral) or chronic trauma (biting cheeks). They will also perform an oral cancer screening.
The dentist will also evaluate your gingiva. They’ll check your gum tissue for dark red or purple discoloration. Either the dentist or hygienist will check the depths of the gum pockets around the teeth for signs of gum disease. Your dentist will also check for:
Your dentist will evaluate your teeth for:
At this point, your dentist will also evaluate any restorations, checking for:
Your dentist will place their hands on your jaw joints and have you open and close your mouth. They are checking for any deviation upon opening or closing and popping or clicking in the jaw joints. If you have these symptoms, you may have TMJ disorder, a condition of the temporomandibular jaw joints that can cause chronic pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing.
During the occlusal evaluation, your dentist will see how your teeth fit together to check for crowding or shifting. Your Providence, RI dentist might recommend orthodontic treatment if your bite is not aligned correctly.
You should get a dental check-up at least every 12 months. Some dentists prefer to see their patients during every six-month cleaning. Patients with poor oral health or chronic dental issues may need check-ups more often than patients with good oral health.
Regular dental visits allow your dentist to keep an eye on your oral health. While regular check-ups are an investment of both time and money, these visits can help your dentist catch issues in the earliest stages. In some cases, they can catch the warning signs that something might happen down the road and take action to prevent it. Regular dental check-ups can help save you a lot of time, money, and discomfort in the long run.
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