BE PROACTIVE WITH YOUR ORAL HEALTH BY GETTING A DENTAL EXAM ONCE A YEAR
One of the most significant things you can do to keep your smile beautiful and healthy is get yearly exams at your dentist in Monaca, PA. If you have never had a dental exam or have not had one in a long time, you may not know what to expect. Modern dental practices and technology at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley make dental exams faster and easier than ever. However, if you have dentophobia (fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist), we can help keep you calm during your visit with sedation choices, like laughing gas or oral medication. Read on to learn about the value of dental exams and what you should expect during your appointment.
REASONS YOU NEED A DENTAL EXAM
You're using your mouth every day, which means you need to make sure that you take great care of it. It is not enough that you clean your teeth twice a day because you are not able to diagnose or treat issues, like the early stages of gum disease or a cavity. An exam is able to help you identify the oral hygiene problems that you cannot see. If your Monaca, PA dentist can diagnose the problem right at the start, it may save you a lot of time, pain, and money.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU GET TO THE OFFICE
If this is your first dental exam at a practice, you will have to fill out some paperwork, which can include your previous dentists, any concerns that you might have, and any medications you are taking. Most dental practices in Monaca, PA ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so that you may fill out paperwork and, if you're using dental insurance, give them your insurance details. If you want, most offices now have their new patient paperwork on their website so you may fill it out before your appointment. Even if you do have your papers already filled out, you still need to arrive early in case the practice has additional questions and so you can relax.
FACING DENTAL FEARS AND ANXIETIES
Lots of adults avoid going to their dentist even for a dental exam because of fear and anxiety. This is often caused by a previous bad experience at the dentist. If you have anxiety or fears, DentalWorks - Beaver Valley features sedation dentistry. During exams and cleanings, we can help keep you calm and comfortable with either nitrous oxide gas or oral-conscious sedation medication. When you reach out to our office in Monaca, PA to make your appointment, let us know if you are interested in sedation dentistry so we can schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate and then explain your options.
YOUR DENTAL EXAMINATION PROCESS:
- ASKING ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS
Before your physical dental exam, your dentist will ask if you have any questions about your teeth and other areas of your mouth. This could be something as small as mild pain when you chew or a sore in your mouth. This will help your dentist identify any oral health problems.
- DIGITAL X-RAYS
One of the first things most dentists do with a new patient is get a set of digital x-rays. An in-depth view of your teeth is generally taken once every year or more often if your dentist notices symptoms of a problem. Digital x-rays can help your dentist see problems like cavities, an impacted tooth, and more. Every few years, your dentist will take a full series of digital x-rays that will include your gums and jaw. This full view can reveal issues with your jaw alignment and gum problems. During your exam, your dentist will look at your digital x-rays and go over any problems revealed by the images.
- DENTAL CLEANING
To better evaluate your oral health, your teeth will be cleaned. A team member will carefully remove plaque and tartar buildup. After this is done, your enamel will be polished to remove stains. You can ask for help with proper brushing and flossing techniques to use on your own. Tell your hygienist and dentist if you have any sensitivity or pain during the cleaning as it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
- CHECKING FOR ORAL CANCER
More than 200,000 people get oral cancer every year, so it is important for everyone to have their mouth checked for symptoms. An oral cancer screening usually only takes five minutes, but it can help give you peace of mind or an early start on treatment. During the screening, your dentist will look at your teeth, gums, and tongue for any unusual areas. After this, they will palpate your jaw and throat to check for any abnormal growths.
- CHECKING FOR GUM DISEASE
Throughout your cleaning and oral health exam, your dental team will assess the health of your gums. They will measure the depths of your gum pockets also look at the condition of your gums to check for periodontal (gum) disease. If identified early, the first stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can be fixed with a scaling and root planing treatment. However, if gingivitis advances to the next stage, periodontitis, you may require periodontal surgery. This is one of the many reasons why it's smart to get regular dental exams, so you can avoid invasive and expensive procedures.
- GETTING YOUR RESULTS
Once your exam and cleaning are finished, your dentist will discuss your results. Hopefully, you will get a great report and you can schedule your next cleaning. However, if your dentist finds a problem, like a cavity, gum disease, or oral cancer, they will discuss your treatment options. When you and your dentist have a treatment plan, you can schedule your procedure.
GET YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT FOR A DENTAL EXAMINATION
Make sure your smile is beautiful and healthy by going to regular dental exams by your dentist in Monaca, PA. Going to your dentist at least once a year for an exam can help you find and treat problems early so you avoid pain as well as invasive and expensive procedures. If you're avoiding the dentist because of dental fears and anxieties, contact our office in Monaca, PA and speak to us. DentalWorks - Beaver Valley offers different sedation methods to keep you calm and comfortable during your dental exam so you can get a healthier smile.