great lakes dental team

What to Expect at Your Dental Checkup

Regular dental checkups are important for a healthy, appealing smile. During your dental checkup, our dentist at Great Lakes Dental will examine your teeth and gums, check for signs of oral problems, such as cavities and gum disease. We’ll also recommend any dental treatments that may benefit your oral health. 

But what exactly happens during a dental check-up? Here is what you need to know.

Preparing for Your Checkup

Preparing for your checkup helps your dentist provide personalized care and avoid any complications during your checkup. To prepare for your dental checkup, brush and floss your teeth before your appointment to ensure that your teeth and gums are clean and ready for examination. Bring a list of any medications you are taking and any necessary paperwork, such as insurance cards, to streamline the process. Inform your dentist of any changes to your health, as some health conditions can affect your teeth and gums. 

Your Dental Check-up in Mentor, OH

Our receptionist will greet you when you walk in our door. If it is your first visit to Great Lakes Dental, the receptionist may ask you to fill out a questionnaire that details your oral health history. 

Next, you’ll meet the hygienist who will clean your teeth; in some cases, you will see the hygienist after you see your dentist. Having your teeth professionally cleaned can give you a dazzling smile, but clean teeth can also make it easier for your dentist to spot cavities and other dental problems in their early stages, when they are easier to treat. 

The dental hygienist or certified dental assistant uses special tools to perform an in-office dental cleaning. These tools help them scrape away and remove any tartar or plaque that has built up around your gum line and on the surface of your teeth. They will then polish your teeth to give them a nice shine; tooth polishing also helps keep plaque from accumulating on your teeth. 

The hygienist or dental assistant will report any problems they see during the cleaning, such as visible cavities, to your dentist. In some cases, the hygienist will take x-rays as ordered by your dentist. 

You’ll meet your Mentor, OH, dentist next. Your dentist will look over any x-rays then check your teeth, gums, soft palette, throat and neck for any abnormalities. Your dentist will discuss their findings, review your oral health and habits, and may recommend any additional dental work you may need to maintain oral health. The dentist may also review your nutritional habits, as there is a strong connection between nutrition and dental health. 

Dentist in Mentor Ohio Describes the Difference between a Dental Check-up and a Dental Exam

Many patients use the terms “dental check-up” and “dental exam” interchangeably. In some practices, though, a dental hygienist handles a dental check-up while a dentist is responsible for the dental exam, as the exam is more technical and therefore requires the expertise of a dentist.

What if something is wrong with my teeth?

Our dentist will tell you immediately if they find anything unusual. If so, your dentist may recommend additional procedures at our office. These additional services may include:

  • Composite fillings to fill cavities
  • Sealants to prevent cavities
  • Root canal therapy, also known as endodontics, to save badly infected or damaged teeth
  • Periodontics to treat gum disease
  • Bridges, dentures and crowns to replace missing teeth
  • TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) treatment
  • Sleep apnea treatment to help address pauses in breathing during your sleep
  • Teeth straightening, also known as orthodontics, done with traditional metal braces or Invisalign

How often do I need a dental check-up?

An annual check-up can help you maintain an appealing, healthy smile by giving your dentist an opportunity to identify problems early. Your dentist may recommend a dental checkup more often if you have existing dental problems or are at a higher risk for developing dental problems. 

For more information on what you can expect at your dental checkup, consult with your dentist at Great Lakes Dental. In addition to dental checkups, we offer a wide variety of dental services to keep your smile healthy and looking great. We are also available for emergencies, so if you need to see an emergency dentist, contact Great Lakes Dental.