Dental Check Ups 101: What happens at a dental visit and why are regular dental visits important?
NO GAPS OFFER
For all patients with private health insurance, we offer GAP FREE check up, cleans, polishes, x-rays, fluoride and even fissure seals! Our condition is that you obviously still have funds in your insurance for the year and that you sign up to our 6 monthly recall program (at no cost) and prebook your 6 monthly appointments with us. Our dentists understand that cost can play a major factor for our patients to come regularly for dental check ups and we want to make it easier for you and your family. Read our full terms and conditions
At Capstone Dental Seven Hills, our dentists honestly believe that regular maintenance avoids the major breakdown. And the scientific research backs this - patients (both adults and children) who regularly visit the dentist are less likely to have dental problems in the long term. (Long-term Dental Visiting Patterns and Adult Oral Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821461/ ; The importance of health education in prevention of oral health in children: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18798477)
Regular check up, scale and cleans are recommended for children and adults of ALL ages
At your check up, scale and clean appointment, our dentists carefully examine all your teeth and gums to ensure that that your mouth is sound and healthy. Whether it be the health of your gums or sensitivity in your teeth, or extensive damage from your diet, we will explain in detail on what is happening in your mouth so that you understand the situation and how we can work together to look after your oral health.
Regular examinations are important to detect early signs of dental decay, oral cancer, gum disease and to discuss any concerns that you have regarding your smile, sleep disturbances or aching jaw joints.
Why are regular dental visits important?
"Regular maintenance avoids the major breakdown"
Visiting a dentist every 6 months for a check up and clean is very important in making sure the mouth, gums and teeth remain healthy and functional. They help prevent tooth decay, tooth loss and gum disease
Did you know that in Australia, 3 out of the 5 top silent diseases are dentally related?
The number 1 silent disease is tooth decay, third is edentulism, that is, having no teeth, and fifth is gum disease which is strongly linked to heart disease and diabetes. All these diseases are preventable through regular dental check ups
What is a dental scale and clean?
Scaling of your teeth is performed to clean along the gum line area to remove any bits of plaque and calculus (also called tartar) that may be built up. Plaque are the soft chalky bits of leftover food and calculus is the hard version of plaque that is stuck on the gum line around the teeth. Both plaque and calculus can cause damage to the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place and lead to gum disease (periodontal disease). Associated with gum disease is bleeding, swelling, gum recession and sensitivity to hot/cold/sweet/sour foods and drinks/cold air/ tooth brushing.
Prophy Clean or Polish
Prophy cleans (also known as 'cleans') are performed to polish the outer surfaces of the teeth to remove stains and residual bits of plaque. Often if there are lots of stains on the teeth, prophy cleans can help with making the teeth look whiter and smoother.
Why do I need fluoride during my check up?
Dental Fluoride Application
Whenever we eat foods and drinks with lots of sugars and acids in them (e.g. lollies, chocolate, sports drinks, energy drinks, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, etc) our teeth are weakened and softened at a microscopic level.
Fluoride helps to remineralise the tooth structure to strengthen it, protect it from further damage and slow down the activity of bacteria which cause tooth decay (cavities). Research shows that teeth with fluoride exposure have lower incidences of tooth decay/cavities than teeth without fluoride exposure.
The fluoride we place onto the teeth during your check up is a lot stronger than fluoride found in toothpastes, and that is why we only put it on every 6 months.
Why do I need dental x-rays during my check up?
"Do I need them?" I hear you ask. Dentists are intelligent people but we don't have x-ray vision and no one can see what's happening underneath a tooth or the gums without taking an x-ray. Every 2 years or so you should have x-rays to check for early signs of decay or bone loss. If we can detect them early enough we can help you reverse this preventable silent disease.
Dental x-rays are taken to help look under the surfaces of the tooth which can’t be seen by the naked eye. Larger whole mouth x-rays called OPGs are used to look at the whole jaw and bone structures.
What can dental x-rays detect?
- Small areas of decay between teeth not visible in the mouth
- Problems with existing fillings, root canals, crowns or bridges
- The presence and severity of gum disease
- Abscesses or other sorts of infections
- Tooth development issues such as malformed teeth, extra or missing teeth etc.
- Cysts and some types of tumour
- Traumatic injuries such as tooth and bone fractures
- Proximity of teeth to nerves and sinuses
- The development of wisdom teeth and if there is a need for them to be removed
We recommend taking x-rays on your first visit and then updating them every 2 years to ensure that the teeth and jaw bones are sound and healthy.
Are dental x-rays safe?
This is an excerpt from the Australia Dental Association's website in regards to dental x-rays (Source: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Younger-Adults-18-30/Dental-X-Rays):
"Regardless of whether you’re a child or an adult, you can have X-rays safely taken of the inside and outside of your mouth. The amount of radiation involved is extremely low, and is equivalent to the sort of exposure you’d receive on a 1-2 hour flight. This means that even if you’re pregnant you can have X-rays taken, although they are generally kept to a minimum during this period.
Oh, and that thing about your dentist leaving the room while the X-rays are taken? Nothing to worry about there – they’re taking lots of X-rays all day long and stepping out of the room limits their ongoing exposure to radiation."