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What Does a Dentist Do?

Almost half of adults in the United States do not go to the dentist regularly. Why do Americans avoid going to the dentist? For many adults, a routine trip to the dentist involves experiencing some form of anxiety. Despite the possible discomfort and the anxiety, it is critically important to visit a dentist regularly. The major reason why seeing your dentist is important is because they are able to identify issues with your teeth before you can see or feel them. What exactly does a dentist do and how is this possible? Below is more information about traditional dentistry and what to expect your dentist to do.

A Routine Dental Visit

Most visits to the dentist are routine and follow a similar order of events. If you have no pain or discomfort that is compelling you to go to the dentist, you can expect your visit to include an oral exam and a professional cleaning. Here are the steps you can expect to occur at a routine dental visit:

  • Dental X-rays: A dental X-ray is a routine part of a regular dental visit. X-rays are important because they help your dentist get a better read of the health of your teeth, jaw bones, and mouth. They also help dentist to see things they may not see in the oral exam, such as cavities between teeth or abscesses.
  • Oral exam: At every dental visit your dentist will complete a full oral health exam. During the exam, they are looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and any signs of irregularities with your bite. The exam will also include checking the health of your gums and tongue. In addition to looking for signs of decay and disease, exams are important to identify any signs of oral cancer. The cancer screening will include examining your head, neck, lips, and the surfaces of your tongue.
  • Full professional cleaning: if you are adamant about brushing and flossing your teeth at home you may wonder why it is necessary to get a professional cleaning. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly is actually the most important step you can take to keeping your gums, teeth, and oral tissues healthy. First, the dental hygienist will gently scrape off any hardened plaque on your teeth using an instrument or a handheld automatic device. The tools used help the hygienist reach areas you cannot reach with your brush, like between your teeth and behind your molars. Next, they will polish your teeth to remove stains and make your enamel shine. Last, the hygienist will floss your teeth and have your rinse your mouth clean.

After these basic steps your routine dental visit is complete. Your dentist will check in with you to talk about any steps you can take at home to maintain or improve your oral health. This talk may include some tips on proper brushing and flossing. You may even be given a complimentary toothbrush, floss, or other products. At this time, you should feel free to bring up any questions or concerns you have about your oral health.

More Information About Dentistry : Dental Visit Expectations

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