Dental Check up in Jacksonville FL
What is your dentist looking at?
Most people think they go to the dentist “just for a cleaning.” When your dentist looks in your mouth after the hygienist finishes your cleaning they are checking for specific things. So what else is your dentist doing or looking for during your appointments? At River Oaks Dental, a dental check up will include the following:
1. Oral cancer screening – This screening serves as cancer prevention! Your dentist will look and feel around your oral tissues, lips, head, and neck in search of anything unusual. Sometimes, something will look strange but it could just be a result of trauma (such as burning the roof of your mouth). If there are any areas of concern, we will follow up in 2-3 weeks to determine if any abnormalities require further treatment.
2. Examining your tongue – Part of your tooth brushing routine should including brushing of your tongue to remove any bacteria. Bacteria that stays on your tongue long enough can cause issues (like bad breath!). Your dentist will take a look at your tongue to make sure its size and texture is healthy and not showing any signs of concern.
3. Comparing x-rays to your teeth – X-rays can show us what’s happening to a tooth or around the tooth (at the bone level). Dentists can use the x-ray to confirm if suspicious areas are cavities forming or progression of gum disease. Some cavities, like those in between the teeth, are harder to see using direct vision but are easily discovered with the help of x-rays. Depending on the patient’s past and current oral health history, it is recommended for most people to have x-rays taken every six to 18 months.
4. Checking your temporomandibular joint – The TMJ is the joint that connects the jawbone with the jaw. It’s important to check the TMJ to make sure patients aren’t suffering from TMD (temporomandibular disorders) and that your teeth are occluding, or biting, properly. TMJ problems are known to cause headaches and other issues – please let us know if you are suffering from pain, tightness, or clicking in the head and jaw area.
5. Examining your gums – Almost 50% of adults are diagnosed with some form of gum disease. By looking at the color of your gums and checking for areas of inflammation or bleeding, dentists are able to determine if further gum exams are needed for proper diagnosis of your gum health.
6. Reviewing homecare habits – We want to make sure our patients understand how their oral homecare routine is affecting their health. By discussing your dental routine we can uncover if there are areas needing improvement. Also, Dr. Monteiro and her team are always able to offer tips to better your homecare habits and can suggest products to help you achieve excellent oral health!
7. Just checking in! – Dentists are health care providers and care about your overall well-being! Please schedule a visit if you notice any sudden changes to your oral health, even if it’s not time for your regular appointment. Dr. Rachel Monteiro provides an open and welcoming environment for her patients and hopes all patients feel they are able to talk to her regarding any concern.
For a thorough and complete dental check up in Jacksonville FL, please contact our office by phone or text message at 904-348-0416.