REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET AN ANNUAL DENTAL EXAMINATION
As long as you're not feeling any pain in your teeth it means no dental problems, right? Not always. If you're only visiting the dentist when you have a problem, you're doing yourself a disservice. A dental exam is an important part of preventive oral health care. Dental exams by a board-certified dentist in Monaca, PA are intended to help diagnose little problems before they become painful and enhance your oral health so you can avoid more serious problems. At DentalWorks - Beaver Valley, our skilled team offers annual dental exams for babies, children, teens, adults, and seniors so you can be proactive with your oral health. No matter your age or if it's been a long time since you visited the dentist, schedule a dental exam for yourself and everyone in your family at our dental practice in Monaca, PA.
BABY'S FIRST VISIT TO THE DENTIST
It's never too early to start visiting the dentist. Before your child celebrates his or her first birthday, they need to also celebrate their first visit to the dentist. At your baby's first dental examination, the dentist will check the health of their gums and keep track of their baby teeth as they start to come in. During a baby's first dental exam, your dentist can offer you advice on improving your child's dental health, including tips on baby toothbrushes, and answer questions on things, like thumb sucking and bottle rot. Although your baby's first dental visit shouldn't take long, it can be extremely essential for their future health.
ESTABLISHING GOOD HABITS IN CHILDREN
If you have children, it's important to make certain that they're going to the dentist every year for a dental exam. This helps establish healthy habits that will give them a lifetime of better oral health. During a child's annual exam, the dentist will normally check for cavities and other problems. The dentist will also check your child's brushing habits and may offer some recommendations to help improve their oral health at home. Your dentist can also help you decide if and when your child should visit an orthodontist.
GETTING OVER FEARS AND ANXIETY
Quite a few adults don't go to their annual dental examination because of anxiety or dentophobia (fear of dentists). At DentalWorks - Beaver Valley, we do our best to alleviate your fears so you can have a positive visit. Our team will take the time to explain what will happen before we begin your oral health examination and give you as many breaks as you need to feel comfortable. We also offer a number of types of sedation that could be used in your routine exams and cleanings to help you relax. For most patients, nitrous oxide gas (also known as laughing gas) or an oral-conscious sedation medication (usually a prescription anti-anxiety medicine, like Halcion or Valium) can be used to keep you awake, but calm and relaxed during your exam. In case you or your child need sedation dentistry, you will schedule a consultation with your dentist before your actual dental exam to determine if sedation can be safely used, which is most appropriate for your needs, what you ought to expect during your exam, and if you will be able to drive afterward.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR ORAL HEALTH EXAMINATION
Usually, there are five main steps to a dental examination — x-rays, looking for cavities, checking for gum disease, an oral cancer check, then a consultation. Depending on your oral health, your dental exam could be very short or it can take a little longer.
- ORAL CANCER CHECK
An important part of every dental exam is checking for oral cancer. This starts with a visual inspection of your soft tissue, tongue, and lips as your dentist looks for unusual spots. After this, they will palpate your neck and jawbone to check for lumps. If your dentist finds any early signs of oral cancer, they can refer you to an oncologist for a diagnosis and treatment.
- CAVITY CHECK
During your appointment, your dentist will check for decay in your enamel. This could include using a digital cavity detector or utilizing a manual tool to look for weak areas of enamel. If an area is weak, but a cavity hasn't yet developed, you may be able to avoid a cavity with a professional fluoride treatment and good home oral care.
- GUM DISEASE CHECK
In case your gums are red or swollen, your dentist will check the depth of your gum pockets. If they are greater than three millimeters, they may recommend a scaling and root planing or other periodontal treatment to remove buildup and restore your gums.
After your dental exam is finished, your dentist will talk to you about any problems they found. If you do have any problems, your dentist will discuss your treatment options and develop your personalized plan. This is a fantastic time to ask your dental team any questions you may have or have them check your brushing and flossing technique.
In your dental exam, a basic series of x-rays will be taken so your dentist can see hidden problems, including abscessed or impacted teeth as well as areas of decay. Every few years, your dentist may recommend a full mouth series, which will capture your teeth, gums, and jawbone. A full mouth series helps your dentist look for damage to your jaw, cysts, plus other problems.
TREAT PROBLEMS EARLY WITH A DENTAL EXAM
Make sure you and your family have healthy smiles by scheduling annual dental examinations with a board-certified dentist in Monaca, PA. Regular dental exams check for common oral health issues (for example, cavities and gum disease) so that you may address them before they develop into big, painful problems. At DentalWorks - Beaver Valley, we offer dental exams for patients of all ages. Our team is compassionate and gentle so you have a pleasant experience at the dentist's office, which makes is much easier to come back every year. If you have anxiety or fears about visiting the dentist, ask about scheduling a consultation for sedation dentistry to keep you calm and relaxed during your dental examination. Our team in Monaca, PA hopes to see you and your whole family!