Dental Exams in Buffalo, NY
Todd Shatkin DDS is an experienced Buffalo dentist providing affordable dental exams to patients throughout Western New York for over 30 years. Contact Aesthetic Associates Centre today to arrange your dental exams and cleanings today.
Regular dental exams and cleanings are an important part of making sure your gums and teeth stay healthy. While they are necessary to keeping your pearly white smile, they also play a much bigger role in your overall health. If you practice good oral hygiene at home, you may feel it is not as important to see the dentist on a regular basis, but those regular visits enable your dentist to see signs of potential damage or underlying medical conditions you might not be aware of.
What Are Routine Dental Exams?
Routine dental exams are an appointment where the dentist can thoroughly exam your teeth and look for any possible concerns that may not be visible to the naked eye. Using x-rays, the dentist can spot areas of decay in the teeth that a physical exam may not see.
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After examining the x-rays, the dentist does a full mouth exam, starting with your teeth. If x-rays showed decay, these areas will be closely checked to see if you have any cavities. The dentist also looks for areas of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. The dentist will also examine your bite for any problems.
Next, the dentist does a full examination of your gums. A special tool helps the dentist to measure the depth of the tiny spaces between your gums and teeth. Spaces should be shallow. Deeper spaces can be an indication of gum disease.
In addition to your teeth and gums, the dentist will examine your head, face, neck, throat and tongue, looking for any signs of redness, swelling, or signs of underlying medical conditions, such as autoimmune disease or cancer.
If you have problem areas, the dentist may talk with you and show you better methods of oral care in order to improve the health of your teeth. If problems are noted, future appointments may be required for fillings or other dental work.
What is a Dental Cleaning?
A dental cleaning is the second part of routine dental care and is essential for the health of your teeth. Tartar cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing, so the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove the tartar and clean the teeth. During a cleaning, you may have a fluoride application, children may have sealants applied, and tooth stains can be treated. If your dental care at home is not keeping up with plaque, you may receive education and instruction on how to better care for your teeth.
If your dental exams show signs of gum or periodontal disease, the dentist may recommend a deep cleaning. This procedure is known as scaling and root planing. This method of cleaning focuses on the tartar buildup on the surface of the teeth as well as in the deep pocket between the tooth and gums. This can be performed with manual or ultrasonic instruments. In most cases, a deep cleaning will require more than one appointment.
How Often Should I See the Dentist?
How often you should see the dentist depends on a variety of different factors. The general rule of thumb is to have dental exams and dental cleanings performed at least every six months. If you have dental issues, such as increased plaque production and build-up, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits, such as four times a year.
Why are Regular Dental Visits So Important?
Regular dental visits and cleanings help to ensure the health and wellness of your teeth and gums. While daily oral hygiene is important, regular visits allow for potential issues to be discovered and addressed before they become bigger issues and lead to tooth loss.
But it isn’t just your teeth that make regular dental care so important. Regular visits allow your dentist to notice signs and symptoms of other potential medical concerns. Many systemic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s, lupus, and diabetes can show initial symptoms in the mouth first. Identifying these symptoms and alerting your physician can help keep you healthy. Other conditions, such as oral cancer, can be caught sooner when regular examinations are done. Catching these conditions early allows for better treatment options.
If it has been a while since your last dental exams or cleanings, it may be time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Todd Shatkin at the Aesthetic Associates Centre. Give us a call today and let us help keep your teeth, and overall health, as healthy as possible.
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