In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, visiting a dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning is critical to maintaining a healthy smile. If you have not been to the dentist in quite some time, you may feel a bit apprehensive about scheduling an appointment. However, there is no need to worry!
Here is everything you can expect the next time you step through our doors for a dental checkup and cleaning.
Before we get to work inside your mouth, we will briefly chat with you about your medical history to determine if there are any important updates since your last visit. We will need to know about any new medications you are taking or recent changes to your health such as diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, etc. Sharing health concerns and issues, including allergies or if you are experiencing dental anxiety, helps us provide you with the personalized care that you need and deserve.
Even if you diligently brush your teeth every day, harmful plaque and tartar can build up over time in those hard-to-reach places in your mouth. For this reason, every routine checkup includes a professional teeth cleaning. Using special tools, Dr. Gaylor or one of our experienced dental hygienists will carefully scrape off any built-up plaque and tartar, one tooth at a time. We may also floss between your teeth if there are any small food particles trapped there. Professional teeth cleanings are an important part of preventing gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other serious problems from developing and will leave your mouth feeling refreshed and clean!
Once your teeth are nice and clean, Dr. Gaylor will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and the tissues and supporting structures inside your mouth. Using specialized tools such as a metal probe with a small angled mirror, she will look for signs of tooth decay, swelling, mouth sores and any unusual redness inside your mouth. She will also measure your periodontal pockets – the spaces between the gums and the teeth – as deep pockets can be an early sign of gum disease. Lastly, Dr. Gaylor will be on the lookout for symptoms of other diseases and serious oral health problems, such as oral cancer. A full dental examination is key to catching and treating tooth decay and other dental problems in their earliest stages, before they can develop and worsen.
A lot can change in the mouth in a short amount of time. If it has been a year or more since your last dental appointment, Dr. Gaylor will likely take new X-rays of your mouth to help assess the current state of your oral health. Dental X-rays allow Dr. Gaylor to see what is going on between and inside your teeth, gums and the bone underneath your gums and identify any dental problems that may not be visible to the naked eyes. At Cosmetic Dentistry of Atlanta, we use the latest in digital X-ray technology to minimize radiation exposure for patients, so you never have to worry about the safety of this important dentistry tool.
DR. MARILYN GAYLOR IS AN ACCREDITED MEMBER OF AACD