At Laguna View Family Dental, we recommend that our patients go to the dentist for an exam at least every six months for general and preventive dentistry care. These exams will include checkups and cleanings to maintain teeth and gum health. They are very importantly used to identify signs of decay and diseases such as periodontal disease and oral cancer.
Learn more about Preventive Dentistry
How frequently do I need to have dental x-rays?
This will depend on the patient’s individual oral health needs and some additional factors. Regular x-rays will be important when looking for indications of disease and other issues which develop below the gum line, inside the tooth, and in the jaws. Dental x-rays used today have very limited amounts of radiation so now even a lifetime of dental x-rays poses a very low health risk.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
In its earliest stages, gum disease can cause very limited symptoms. Some patients can notice some minor bleeding when brushing and flossing however others might not display any symptoms in the beginning. As the disease gets worse, symptoms can start to include bleeding gums, tenderness, and inflammation of the gums, gums which appear overly red, sore or loose teeth, and if left untreated, tooth loss.
What happens during a routine exam?
Initially, patients will have to provide information to update their medical history. This way the office can identify risk factors for possible oral health problems. The teeth will be visually inspected and the hygienist will use special tools and techniques to thoroughly clean around each tooth, paying attention to spots where plaque has built up. Once the cleaning is finished, the dentist will be able to offer patients tips for successful brushing and flossing to ensure that they can get rid of plaque and bacteria effectively and decrease the risk of periodontal disease. After this, each tooth will be examined for indications of present decay and patients will also have an oral cancer screening performed. Here, the dentist will look for any abnormal areas of tissue which may need further testing. Lastly, patients will get suggestions for additional care and they will have time to ask questions about their dental and oral health.