Getting regular dental exams and X-rays are important ways for you to protect your dental health. Most people should have their teeth checked about twice a year, but our dentist may recommend more or less frequent dental visits based on your individual needs. At routine checkups, we clean and check your teeth for cavities. We also perform a number of other routine checks, including:
• Reviewing your medical and dental history
• Reviewing any new medications or illnesses
• Screening your mouth for symptoms of oral cancer
• Evaluating your gums for symptoms of periodontal disease
• Checking all surfaces of your teeth to identify signs of tooth decay
• Examining all restorations for signs of wear or damage
• Removing plaque and tartar
• Polishing teeth
• Recommending changes or updates to your dental hygiene routine
• Reviewing any other dental care or treatment recommendations
If you smoke, have diabetes, are prone to cavities, or have certain other risk factors, we may recommend more frequent checkups. Most people will not need dental X-rays at every appointment, but they may be recommended about once a year. X-rays can also be necessary before certain procedures, such as root canals, extractions, and orthodontic treatment. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule your dental exam in Agoura Hills.
If you are about to see a new dentist for the first time, they will likely want to take a few x-rays. This added task at your appointment may be an inconvenience to you, but having current dental x-rays done is actually very important for moderating your dental and oral health.
Not all problems can be detected by simply looking inside the mouth. Dental x-rays offer a closer, detailed perspective. They can be used for:
• Finding tooth decay
• Finding damage to the jawbone
• Checking orthodontic conditions
• Looking at broken teeth
• Checking for growths, cysts, and abscesses
• Seeing if any permanent teeth are being prevented from erupting
• Planning treatment, such as root canal therapy, inserting dental implants, or tooth extraction
There are several types of x-rays, using different materials to take them. Bite wing x-rays show the upper and lower back teeth, and should be taken by adults every two to three years. A periapical x-ray shows an entire tooth, from below the bottom of the root to the crown. These are typically used to find dental issues below the gum line. Panoramic x-rays show the structure of the entire bottom half of the face, and can show problems such as bone abnormalities, impacted teeth, and infections.
Prevention is the single most important aspect to maintaining proper oral hygiene. Not only does prevention help eliminate plaque and tartar; it helps to ensure that you will not suffer from more serious complications like tooth abscesses and gum disease in the future.
Prevention includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day. You want to make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to brush most effectively. You also want to make sure that you are using the proper technique. Holding your brush at a forty-five degree angle and using gentle back and forth motions on each surface of the tooth is the best technique. Flossing is also very important for catching food particles that have fallen in between your teeth.
No matter how good you are at brushing and flossing, though, you will also want to make sure to see the dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning. Our preventive dentist in San Fernando Valley is able to remove any of the plaque you may have missed from brushing and flossing. Another important element to prevention is eating a proper diet. Avoiding foods that contain high levels of sugar is highly recommended.
Proper oral hygiene through the use of prevention should keep your teeth healthy for a long time to come.