1) Why dental check-up is important?
Going to the dentist regularly is essential to keep healthy teeth and gums. A decay or gums inflammation are an active process and the earlier it is detected the easier it is to treat it. And with the best prognosis.
It is also very important that in between those examinations the patient respects a strict oral hygiene to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy.
2) What should be the frequency?
The frequency has to be tailored by the dentist to accommodate to the current oral health status and health history of the patient.
Researches shows that high-risk patients would likely benefit from more frequent dental visits (every 3 to 6 months), while low-risk patients may see the same benefits from only one cleaning per year.
3) What all a dental check-up includes?
1/ Extra-oral examination: Examination of the neck, the face, the lymph nodes and the mandibular joins (TMJs).
2/ Intra-oral examination: Examination of the soft tissues (gums, tongue, cheek…), looking for visual evidence of tooth decay or damaged fillings, checking the bite…
3/ X-ray examination:
A panoramic X-ray (examination of the roots, bones, sinus) and 2 bitewings (caries detection) are mandatory for a new patient‘s examination.
4/ Hygienist appointment: Plaque and tartar removal, teeth polishing.
4) Is there any age when one should go for regular dental check-ups?
The AAPD (AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY) recommend having the first examination done at the time of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age. I recommend the parents to come with their infants when they are due for dental check-up. In this way, the dental clinic and the dental chair will become a familiar and friendly place. Later on, if some dental treatments are required, the child will be psychologically ready for it.