What Happens During a Dental Checkup?
Even if you follow a diligent home care routine, regular checkups with a dental professional are still a must. Your dentist can watch for early signs of decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or other dental problems and take appropriate action. In addition, professional cleaning rids your teeth of calcified plaque, called calculus or tartar, that can build up in hard-to-reach places. Finally, your dentist can spot clues to whether oral problems are actually symptoms of other diseases in the body.
For most people, two checkups per year are sufficient. But if you have special problems or if you’re at high risk for conditions such as periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend that you come in as frequently as every three months. A routine visit will include a professional cleaning, an exam, and possibly X-rays. Your dentist should also discuss your health history, asking about your past dental problems, allergies, medication use, drug reactions, recent illnesses, and chronic diseases.