Dental Health Screening
Do I Need a Dental Check-up?
Yes. Everyone (including those wearing dentures and having dental implants) needs to have dental check-ups. The reason is simple: even if you brush and floss everyday, you cannot see all the part of your own mouth.
What are the 8 things that my dentist can see and I can’t?
- fillings, crowns and other repairs (or restorations) that are no longer in good shape
- root cavities, or cavities that form when the gums pull away (or recede) from the teeth
- cavities around your fillings
- tiny cracks (or fractures) in a tooth
- wisdom teeth that are trapped (or impacted) in the gums
- early signs of gum disease
- early signs of oral cancer
- signs of other problems that could affect your general health
How often do I need to go for a dental check-up?
This depends on YOUR oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a check-up every 6 months.
What is included in the Dental Health Screening?
- Detailed examination by Resident Dental Surgeon.
Your dentist looks for gum disease, cavities, loose fillings, broken teeth, infection, oral cancer and signs of other problems that could affect your general health.
- Dental Radiological (X-ray) Examination
Usually two small radiographs of your back teeth are taken every two years or when you attend a new dentist.
- Flossing removes plaque from under the gumline and between teeth. It also removes bits of food from between teeth
- Scaling removes tartar from teeth. (If tartar is not removed, it can help cause gum disease)
- Polishing smooths and cleans the surfaces of the teeth.
- Oral Hygiene Instruction
When your dentist is finished with the check-up, he is able to instruct you on what you can do to take better care of your teeth and gums at home
What can dental X-rays show?
- cavities between teeth, under the gums and around old fillings
- bone loss caused by gum disease
- teeth that are trapped in the gums, eg wisdom teeth
- long or crooked tooth roots that will need special care if you have treatment eg root canal
- infections at the roots of teeth with deep cavities
- cracks in teeth
- problems with the bone holding the tooth in place
Are dental x-rays safe?
X-rays are safe. People are exposed to very low levels of radiation as part of their daily lives. When you have a dental x-rays, you are protected in 3 ways:
- Targeting – the machine directs the x-ray ONLY to the area where you need it.
- Covering – a lead apron and collar give you added protection.
- Staff training – members of the dental team are well trained in giving x-rays.