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6 Things Your Dentist Does at Your Biannual Checkup

August 25, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drshah @ 3:21 pm
Dentist examining patient’s teeth at dental checkup

Unfortunately, there is a popular misconception that biannual dental checkups and cleanings are optional. As a result, many patients go months or years without visiting their dentist! It’s important to know, however, that these appointments are for so much more than just checking for cavities. With this in mind, keep reading to learn six things your dentist does that makes your routine dental checkup important.

Screening for Oral Cancer

Some signs of oral cancer are obvious, like a sore in your mouth that won’t heal. Others aren’t quite as noticeable. Little red and white patches along the bottom of your mouth and underneath your tongue likely won’t be noticed until your dentist examines your mouth. So, it’s not surprising that dental professionals play a crucial role in the early detection of oral cancer.

Checking Your Salivary Glands

On a daily basis, you might not think twice (or at all) about the important role your saliva plays in your oral health. In reality, it helps rinse away food particles throughout the day, preventing bad breath, cavities, and the like. For these reasons, your dentist will dedicate a portion of their exam to checking your salivary glands.

Examining Your Temporomandibular Joint

Your temporomandibular joint is where your jawbone and skull connect. If it’s inflamed or damaged in any way, then you’re at risk of experiencing jaw pain, a clicking noise when you chew, and other unpleasant consequences. So, your dentist will monitor its condition and let you know if anything feels unusual.

Assessing Your Bite

The alignment of your bite is important for both the look and function of your smile. If it’s uneven, then your smile might look crooked or unbalanced. Additionally, if your teeth don’t come together how they should, then you might not be breaking down your food properly. Plus, with enough time, the teeth sustaining the most pressure might wear and tear prematurely.

Looking at Your Gums

While teeth often take the spotlight when it comes to oral health, your gums are also vulnerable to infection. In fact, roughly 50% of Americans have gum disease, a condition that can result in tooth loss if left untreated. As a result, your dentist will take a good look at your gums to check for the early warning signs of this condition. That way, they can put together a treatment plan to intervene early on, if necessary.

Checking Existing Restorations

Do you have veneers, dental crowns, fillings, and other restorations? Good news: your dentist will take a look at those during their examination too! If any of them are loose, cracked, or otherwise damaged, then they can bring it to your attention now, helping save you from a sudden dental emergency.

Now you know a few more reasons why your biannual dental checkup is important! So, if you’re overdue for yours, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

About the Author

For well over a decade now, Dr. Prachi D. Shah has been helping those in her treatment chair maintain, restore, and enhance their smiles. After completing her undergraduate studies at Loyola University of Chicago, she obtained her dental doctorate from the New York University College of Dentistry. Throughout the years, she’s also maintained active memberships with notable organizations, like the Texas Dental Association and the American Dental Association. If you have a question about maintaining your healthy smile or you need to schedule your biannual checkup, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (817) 860-2222.

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