What does a dentist do?

You already know that going to the dentist is important and that it is recommended to go at least once a year, but why should you see a dentist rockford il regularly? What does going to the dentist do if I take care of my teeth at home?

When you go to the dentist for your average appointment, the dentist will complete dental x-rays, an oral exam, cancer screening, scaling and polishing, fluoride treatment, sealant application and oral care education.

Dental X-Rays

Most of the time, dentists will take X-rays once a year to be able to reveal any problems that are hiding under the surface or between teeth. They can show the position of teeth that are impacted and they can give dentists an impression of how the teeth are developing in children. Usually, dental insurance policies cover X-rays once a year, but check with your insurance to confirm their coverage. Dental hygienists may take the X-rays but the dentist will review the films.

Oral Examination

The dental hygienist and the dentist will examine your entire mouth including your teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. The dental professional will be looking for areas of concern like tooth decay, the pockets of your gums around your teeth, possible gum recession, bite alignment, and any teeth development in children.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is like any other cancer in that it is important for early detection. Dentists will complete this screening at every appointment by holding your tongue with gauze and checking for any signs or symptoms. They will continue by feeling your jaw and neck for any abnormalities.

Scaling and Polishing

Routine professional cleaning will keep your gums free from disease and inflammation, preventing periodontal disease from jeopardizing your teeth and jawbones. The dentist or dental hygienist will use tools to remove plaque and tartar. Then they will polish your teeth to remove any stains and they will floss between your teeth. At this point, your teeth and mouth should feel cleaner than they have in a while.

Fluoride Treatment

The dentist or dental hygienist may apply a fluoride treatment after the teeth are clean. Usually children receive the treatment but it can be helpful for adults in preventing decay as well. The fluoride treatment may be a gel, rinse, foam, or varnish that is applied with a swab, brush, tray or mouthwash. There is more fluoride in this than there is in toothpaste so the dentist will ask that you not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterwards.

Sealant Application

The dentist may use a dental sealant to paint a thin coating on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. The dental sealant is most often used on molars to prevent decay for up to 10 years. It is a simple and painless way to invest in your future oral health. Typically, these are applied to children and teenagers, but if adults are free from decay, they can receive the treatment too. The application is tooth colored so it is not noticeable.

How Often Should I Visit The Dentist?