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Almost no one gets excited to visit the dentist. But, just like your annual physical or vision examination, regular dental exams are a critical part of preventive healthcare. They help you keep your teeth and gums clean, and allow you to catch potential issues with your oral health before they develop into more severe conditions. 

If it’s been a while since your last visit to the dentist, check your calendar. It’s likely time to schedule a routine cleaning and exam, to make sure your oral health is on-track. Let’s take a look at what’s involved with a routine dental exam and why you should prioritize staying on top of your schedule cleanings.

What happens during a routine dental exam?

During your dental exam, the dentist or hygienist working with you will first examine your oral health and hygiene. They may take x-rays or perform other diagnostic procedures, measure the gums and inspect the general condition of your teeth.

After performing these basic inspections, they’ll move on to cleaning. First, the hygienist or dentist will use a pick (water or metal) to remove plaque and tartar buildup on teeth. After completing this process, they’ll polish the teeth, and finally finish with flossing.

Your appointment will also likely include evaluations for potential tooth replacement or restoration, and an inspection of your bite and jaw. Every mouth is different, and a schedule appointment is an opportunity for your smile to get individualized attention. 

How often do you need a dental exam?

It’s generally recommended that adults have at least one, ideally two, dental examinations per year. Talk to your dentist for specific recommendations given your own oral health issues and the state of your teeth, gums and jaw. One of the best things you can do at the end of a routine checkup is to schedule your next one—even if it’s six months to a year out. This will keep you on-track and honest.  

The biggest benefits of routine dental exams

Wondering why it’s important for you to schedule a dental exam at routine intervals? Here’s a quick look at some of the primary benefits associated with these examinations:

  • Catch problems early. Getting checked out by a dentist alerts you to potential problems with your oral health early, so you can take preventive action to avoid significant health problems and expensive (and extensive) treatments.
  • Get oral care advice. The advice you get from your dental professional can help you maintain outstanding oral health. They can provide you with advice for the types of toothbrush and floss to use, your brushing habits and the types of treatments that might be beneficial for your long-term oral health.
  • Keep your smile white. Every routine dental appointment includes cleaning and polishing to keep your smile looking great. The removal of tartar buildup on the teeth is extremely helpful, as it’s not something you can do yourself. If left alone, that tartar could quickly affect the integrity and appearance of your smile.
  • Stay on top of conditions. If you have existing oral health conditions, it’s especially important for you to attend regular dental exams, to better manage them. These appointments are an opportunity for you to get a status report on those conditions and determine how you’re progressing in your treatment goals and what steps you need to take moving forward.
  • Keep your records current. Every visit to the dentist is an update to your dental health record. This means a more complete vision of your oral health, which can inform better diagnosis of conditions. Having extensive records of your oral health is also beneficial in the event you ever have a health emergency arise or if you should ever need to switch dentists for any reason.
  • Avoid costly procedures. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Making the effort to stay on top of preventive oral healthcare will help you avoid serious conditions that could be extremely expensive to treat.
  • Improve overall health. It’s beneficial to your overall health to stay on top of your oral health. Maintaining good oral health helps you protect your body and allows you to avoid one more potential source of illness or ailment.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Araldi

If you’ve been putting off getting a routine dental exam done, wait no longer! Contact Dr. Daniel Araldi at his Saratoga dentistry and get an appointment scheduled today. Whether you’re due for a simple cleaning or have an issue you want a professional’s opinion on, it’s in your best interest to schedule. We look forward to helping you create a healthier, brighter smile!

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