What Is Included in a Dental Checkup and Clean?
Hi, I’m Dr Billy Choi, the principal dentist at Precision Dental here at Fortitude Valley in Brisbane.
Just a few minutes ago, we got a phone call from a new patient, Josie from Kangaroo Point. She would like to come for a dental check-up and clean as she hasn’t been for a long time. This is because she had a very bad dental experience when she was a child. So she is a bit anxious. She asked us what normally happens at a checkup and clean.
For anxious patients who haven’t been to a dentist for a long time, this is a very common question, so I thought I’d make a quick video about it.
A dental checkup includes examining a few aspects of the mouth area. I’ll start by checking some features outside of the mouth first, your lymph nodes, followed by checking under the jaw to see if there’s any swelling or any asymmetry in the jaws. Then we palpate the muscles and joints of your jaws.
After this, we check the soft tissues in the mouth, such as the tongue, the back of the mouth, the cheek, the palate and floor of the mouth, just to ensure there’s no pathology going on and they are all healthy.
If they look okay, then we check on the teeth and the gum. I’ll be charting your individual tooth and recording the treatments that you’ve had previously.
And once we’ve done that, if the patient hasn’t had the X-rays taken for a while, we will take a couple of X-rays, which are designed to detect any hidden areas. This includes checking under the old fillings or restorations, in between and inside the teeth, which are all part of the comprehensive examination.
Then it’s a discussion. Anything that the patient is doing well, anything the patient should be improving, and any conditions or any treatment that needs to be done. Depending on how big the treatment is, we can plan the short and long-term plans. So a bit of the time will be spent on the discussion.
The clean part involves removing soft and hard buildups that accumulated on teeth over the time. When I say soft, it’s the plague and the food debris. We use a prophylaxis paste, which is like a polisher, to remove this soft buildup.
For tartar or calculus, which is hard buildup and can’t just be polished away, we use an equipment called an ultrasonic scaler, which vibrates and breaks off any buildups that are stuck on the teeth and the roots.
We will be finishing off with the fluoride treatment, which helps with the sensitivity after the cleaning and helps with the protective layer around the teeth.
It’s our job to make sure you are comfortable throughout the whole process and get the highest quality of care. We take our time, and all our clinicians have very high attention to detail.
If it has been awhile since you had a comprehensive check up and clean, we would love to look after you.
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