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Family Dentist: What to Expect During a Comprehensive Examination
A trip to the family dentist may make some people uneasy. If an individual has not frequented the dental chair, the thought of going for an appointment may be uncomfortable. Gaining some knowledge of standard practices and procedures can help arm a nervous patient with a helpful guide.
A family dentist is a general practitioner
In the medical world, some providers tend to stick to certain patient types, organs or disorders. The same holds for dentists. Some studied to deal with surgical procedures and others trained to work mainly with children. A family dental provider is a general practitioner who sees every member of the family. This type of facility is equipped with an array of equipment to treat the smallest of mouths right on up through adulthood.
The basic dental examination
The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist at least once yearly but encourages families to increase the frequency to twice a year whenever possible. Since regular dental checkups and deep cleanings can spot problems early and keep bacteria from developing into plaque, these routine appointments help prevent decay and possible tooth loss. Before the appointment, take the time to brief family members on the most common procedures and practices the dentist and staff will perform.
At least once a year, the provider will want to take a complete set of X-rays. This may include panoramic views along with spot checks of troublesome areas. X-rays are an excellent way for dentists to get a more in-depth look inside the teeth and under the gums. They can help expose cavities that are still developing and underlying issues with tooth roots.
The practitioner typically performs a physical inspection of the mouth and teeth. During this time, the dentist can count the teeth, something that is especially important in children or those with some adult tooth loss. At this inspection, the dentist will also check for loose teeth or signs of cracks and other surface issues.
An important reason to frequent the dentist is for deep cleanings. Even if a patient is adequate at performing brushing and flossing, there are still areas that are difficult to reach. If these regions become too bogged down with plaque, problems can begin inside the tooth. A dental cleaning is typically performed by a hygienist and involves tools that can scrape and brush off anything that coats the teeth. The hygienist will also perform complete flossing and provide tips to improve the patient's regular dental routine to decrease the likelihood of developing plaque.
A trip to the family dentist is one way to stay healthy. Dental health is an essential facet of overall body wellbeing, and routine exams and preventative measures should be followed. If there is a problem that needs fixing, the dentist will be able to set up an appropriate treatment plan to rectify the issue in a timely manner. Letting this body system fall by the wayside due to anxiety may result in more problems down the line.
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