What Does a Dentist Do?

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If you are one of those individuals who does not like to go to the dentist wilmington north carolina, you should know you are not alone. According to recent reports, 40% of Americans do not go to the dentist regularly. Many adults experience anxiety over the thought of visiting the dentist and having dental work done. Despite the potential for discomfort, visiting your dentist regularly is important, even if you brush and floss daily. One of the biggest reasons to see a dentist regularly is that they can identify dental issues, such as the start of infection or gum disease, before symptoms that you can see or feel even start. What should you expect from a dental visit? Below are more details on what exactly dentists do and what you can expect to happen at a routine dental visit.

A Routine Dental Visit

  • X-rays: If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, or you have but haven’t had X-rays in a year or two, it is likely that your dentist will want to take some X-rays of your teeth and mouth. Why? Teeth are bones after all! The X-rays provide information to your dentist on the health of your teeth, jaw bones, and mouth. One of the biggest reasons for yearly x-rays is that they help your dentist see things they may not be able to see with an oral exam. X-rays can reveal the start of cavities between teeth or even abscesses.
  • Oral exam: At every routine dental visit you can expect a complete oral exam. During this exam the dentist is looking for signs of tooth decay, soft tooth enamel, gum disease, and examining your bite. To check your gums your dentist will probe the gum line with a periodontal probe to look for pockets around your teeth. Additionally, your dentist will complete an oral cancer screening, which may include checking your lips and the surfaces of your tongue. This may seem unnecessary, but your dentist is trained to identify early signs of cancer that you cannot see or feel.
  • Professional cleaning: Next, your dentist, or the dental hygienist, will complete a full professional cleaning. This cleaning goes above and beyond the cleaning you are able to do at home with your toothbrush and floss. While it may be uncomfortable at first, the hygienist will use a tool to scrape your teeth near the gum line to remove any hardened plaque. If not removed, this plaque can lead to the development of gum disease. Once all of the plaque is removed, it is time to have your teeth polished and rinsed. The clean and smooth feeling of your teeth after these steps are complete makes any discomfort totally worth it.

After your cleaning is complete your dentist will likely have a discussion with you about your oral health and what you can do at home to continue to maintain healthy teeth and gums. This may include addressing problem areas that you are unintentionally missing with your brushing and flossing at home and usually includes a free toothbrush and floss. During this discussion you should ask any questions you may have. After this discussion is complete you are all finished. The best way to keep regular dental visits is to remember to schedule your next visit on your way out!

More Information on General Dentistry : What to Expect at the Dental Office Visit?