Going to the dentist helps prevent many oral conditions. While your dentist can provide a myriad of treatments, some are more common than others. If you would like to know more about dental clinic treatments to determine if you're making the most of your oral healthcare, keep reading.
1. Dental Cleanings
Dental cleanings should be done at least every six to 12 months, but some dentists may recommend every four months for some patients, depending on your oral health. Pregnant patients are also encouraged to get cleanings more often to prevent issues from calcium loss.
Most cleanings involve removing plaque and tartar from above the gumline. The dentist finishes the process by polishing the teeth. For older patients or those with severe tartar, deep cleaning and root planing may be needed to clean and smooth below the gumline.
Your dentist doesn't need to take X-rays for every visit, but routine X-rays help the dentist see inside the tooth and below the gumline. "Bitewing" X-rays take a picture of a group of teeth, which can include only upper teeth, only lower teeth or both upper and lower. In some cases, the dentist may recommend a full-mouth X-ray, which grabs one picture of the mouth.
X-rays help the dentist spot decay inside the tooth, but they also help identify:
- Impacted teeth
- Non-erupted teeth
- Damaged roots
- Root/sinus issues
3. Gum Care
While examining your teeth, the dentist also examines the gums to look for signs of declining gum health, which include:
- Pockets or gaps between teeth and gums
- Gum recession
Wear and tear from eating, grinding teeth and etc. can cause mild gum recession or pockets, but gum issues often indicate gum disease. Gum disease should be treated immediately with antibiotics and cleaning to prevent long-term problems like gum loss and bone loss. Depending on your age, the dentist will measure the pockets. Larger gaps are a good indication of possible gum disease.
4. Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure, but it is less invasive and expensive than many other cosmetic procedures. Professional teeth whitening is incredibly effective, especially when compared to over-the-counter products.
It is excellent at getting rid of stains caused by food, beverages and bacteria. The stains, however, can return if you continue consuming stain-causing foods/beverages.
Your dentist wants to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. If you haven't been to the dentist in a few years, it's time to make an appointment. For more information, contact a dental clinic in your area today.