Routine dental appointments are essential to maintain good oral health and a happy smile. A standard dental check-up is carried out by an experienced, qualified dentist and is the best way to spot any problems with your mouth before they become serious. Both adults and children require routine dental appointments on a regular basis because preventative dentistry is the key to keeping your mouth healthy.
Routine dental appointments are usually carried out every six months, but the number of times you need to attend these appointments varies from patient to patient. Some patients may require more frequent visits, while others may need to come into the practice less often – your dentist will advise you on how often you need a regular check-up.
What happens at a routine dental check-up?
Thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and mouth.
Take X-rays if necessary.
Discuss any dental problems you may have had since your last visit
Discuss general health and dietary issues that can affect your teeth and gums – such as alcohol consumption or smoking.
Discuss your teeth-cleaning habits, such as brushing technique, and recommend any improvements such as interdental brushes or flossing as required.
Explain any further treatment you may need, such as fillings, root canal treatment or hygienist appointments.
Provide you with a full treatment plan.
Answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment and what options are available.
If you require no other treatment, your dentist will let you know when you should come for your next routine check-up.
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected through tooth decay or damaged by an injury to your mouth. This infection may spread through the root canal system and could eventually lead to an abscess, causing a great deal of discomfort. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may need to be taken out.
Root canal therapy involves the following:
First, local anaesthetic will be administered to ensure no discomfort is felt during treatment.
The tooth will be prepared with a drill, allowing access to the root canal system.
The root canal system will be thoroughly cleaned out to remove all infection and pulp.
The root canal system is then filled and sealed temporarily with a crown.
The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits.
Preservation of remaining healthy tooth structure.
Prevention of infection spreading any further.
Restoration of tooth to its natural look and feel.
In cases of advanced gum disease and tooth decay, teeth may need to be extracted. Some patients may also develop impacted wisdom teeth, which can cause intense pain. This is alleviated by having them removed surgically. One area in which it is possible for dentists to specialise is oral surgery, an umbrella term for all dental procedures involving surgery, such as the extraction of teeth or wisdom teeth. It is always important to get the advice of a dental professional if you are worried about any of your teeth. Never attempt to pull out your own tooth at home as this could cause a more serious problem for you.
Tooth extractions typically involve the following:
Before the procedure you may require an x-ray of your teeth.
Depending on your particular case and the severity of your problem, you may be given a local anaesthetic and offered sedation if you are anxious.
Dentists have the right equipment and sterile environment to extract teeth with the utmost care and your recovery can be surprisingly quick.
In the case of wisdom tooth extractions, you may have some swelling after the procedure and discomfort that can be eased with over-the-counter painkillers. In cases of advanced gum disease or periodontitis, antibiotics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of further infection.
Safe and sterile procedure.
Quick recovery and healing time with reduced infection risk.