General Dentistry Mini-Guides – Your Routine Oral Exam
Even if you follow a strict oral hygiene routine at home, regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining optimal dental health. With regular exams, your dentist can monitor your mouth for early signs of decay, periodontal disease, and oral lesions so that developing problems are treated early. He or she may even find clues that alert you to possible risk factors for disease in other parts of your body. In most cases, two exams per year are sufficient. If you have chronic diseases or dental problems, your dentist may want to see you more often. Your exam is divided into two parts.
Part One: Professional Teeth Cleaning
General dentistry professionals called dental hygienists usually clean your teeth before your dentist examines them. Metal instruments called scalers, as well as ultrasonic vibrating devices, are used to remove plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces and below the gum line. After cleaning is complete, your teeth are polished with an abrasive paste.
Part Two: The Visual Exam
One of the most important diagnostic tools in general dentistry is the visual exam. During the exam, your dentist will check every tooth surface for signs of decay and excess wear. He or she will also examine your gums for swelling and redness and look for periodontal pockets that indicate gum disease. After checking your teeth and gums, your dentist will search the soft tissues inside your mouth for unusual lesions that could indicate oral cancer. During a comprehensive or new patient exam, your dentist may also check your head, neck, jaw, and throat for signs of disease or dysfunction.
Family Dental Challenges: Fear and Your Gag Reflex
If you find dentists to be intimidating, you’re more likely to experience extreme anxiety or panic during an appointment. Today’s advanced dentistry offers many treatment methods specifically developed for fearful patients, so be sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist. Your gag reflex can also be a problem for you and your family dental provider. Involuntary retching when your dentist inadvertently touches the back of your throat or positions X-ray films is uncomfortable and embarrassing. Some patients with sensitive gag reflexes actually find dentists to be a great source of help. They can often recommend therapies to reduce the problem such as hypnosis, acupuncture, and guided relaxation. If you are concerned about your gag reflex, discuss the problem with your family dental provider before your next exam.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Atlanta, call Dental One Associates of Georgia today at (855) 979-3350 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Atlanta. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Georgia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Georgia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Georgia.