When it comes to dental care, it is all too easy to become overexcited at the notion of having all of the cosmetic options that a dental surgery has to offer. After all, who doesn’t want a better-looking smile? But before you can undertake any kind of cosmetic dental treatment, you must first have a stable foundation on which to start from, and this is where basic or general dental care is a must!
And, following the recent restrictions surrounding social distancing due to COVID-19, more people than ever before are behind on maintaining their dental care, and need to attend a visit with their dental team to get it back on track.
But what exactly is involved in the standard oral health assessment when you visit your dentist Liverpool every 6 months? Read on to find out.
Checking for decay
First things first, when most people think of dental check-ups, they think of the small mirror being placed into their mouths and their dental team looking for signs of decay. And yes, one of the key things that they will look for when inspecting your mouth is for signs of cavities, thinning enamel and excessive plaque in parts of the mouth that you may not be able to reach with a toothbrush. Any decay that is spotted will need to be filled with either a filling or crown and, if possible, they will aim to restore any damaged enamel with the application of fluoride sealants or with a prescription of high fluoride toothpaste.
And while you may think that the easiest way to lose teeth as an adult is with tooth decay, it is actually through gum disease. When your dental team pokes your gums during a dental inspection, they are assessing the area for signs of sponginess; gums with the texture of a sponge are likely suffering from gum disease and, if they bleed when touched, they will likely book you in for a scale and polish.
Oral cancer is one of the easiest to detect and most treatable of all the cancers and of course, your dental team will check you for it during your biannual check-ups. In essence, they are looking for any unusual lumps, bumps or areas of unusual skin colouring inside your mouth. While most oral lumps are benign, if they see something that they are unhappy about, they will send you on to a specialist.
If you have fillings or crowns, your dental team will need to check them to ensure that they are still in place, have not become damaged and more importantly, that decay has not set in around them. Decay around restoratives needs to be corrected promptly to prevent tooth loss and, if your restoratives are loose, then there is a chance that you may develop an oral abscess. Yikes!
So be sure to attend your check-ups with your dental team!
And finally, if you are new to your dental surgery, or if you haven’t visited for a while, they will often enquire about your overall health. Many medications, such as corticosteroids, can have a detrimental impact on your teeth, and your dental team will need to be aware of any changes in your general health.