Checkup - Namibian Dental Association

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Q: How often should I have a dental examination and cleaning?

A: You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year. However, in some special cases your dentist or oral hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

During these visits to your dentist, your teeth will be cleaned and checked for cavities.  Also many other things will be checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your oral and dental health.

The dental examination will include:

  • All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay using the appropriate dental instruments.

  • All current fillings, crowns, dentures etc. will be checked to see if the restorations are still satisfactory.

  • Diagnostic dental x-rays will be taken to check for new decay, bone loss, cysts, and any other dental problems.

  • The gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any signs of periodontal disease.

  • The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat and gums will be checked for any abnormalities, growths, tumors or any signs of disease.

The cleaning of your teeth will include:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth and is firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food particles, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

  • Polishing of your teeth: This removes stains and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth-brushing and scaling.

In conclusion: A good dental examination and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.

To enable your dentist to provide you with the best possible care regular check-ups and cleaning are essential.

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