Routine Dental Check-up
A routine dental check-up is done once every four or six months. It is a thorough examination whether you still have teeth or none left and with absence or presence of pain.
Routine dental check-up aims to detect early signs of tooth decay and other dental problems like gum diseases. If the dentist can diagnose a dental problem at its earliest stage, preventive measures and less invasive treatments will be sufficient.
Your dentist and dental hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, and other structures inside the mouth using a mouth mirror or intraoral camera. Radiographs will also be taken to verify depth of tooth decay, condition of bone, and detection of certain oral pathologies. After a thorough examination of your current oral health, your dental hygienist will see you for routine cleaning and polishing of your teeth.
Dental hygienists are trained professionals who do routine dental care such as cleaning and polishing of teeth, fluoride therapy and assist dentists with dental procedures.
Supragingival cleaning (Teeth Cleaning & Polishing)
Supragingival cleaning, also known as scaling and polishing, removes plaque and calcular deposits above the gums. Your dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler or hand instruments to remove food debris around each tooth and those stuck in between teeth. Afterwards, the hygienist will use a dental paste to brush and polish the teeth.
Subgingival cleaning is necessary to remove plaque and calcular deposits beneath the gums. Your dental hygienist will use hand instruments to scrape off plaque below the gums which toothbrushes cannot reach. Subgingival cleaning also ends up polishing the teeth using a dental paste.
Once a year, your dentist and/or dental hygienist will recommend fluoride therapy to promote repair of reversible decay spots. Fluoride has two forms: gel or varnish.
Fluoride gel is placed in a gum tray that fits the upper and lower teeth. It will be sited for a few minutes in the mouth to be effective. Then, the patient will have to spit all the gel and you cannot drink or eat within 30 minutes after the application.
On the other hand, fluoride varnish may also be used. It is applied by brushing the fluoride paste on the surfaces of each tooth. You cannot eat or drink within an hour after application for the fluoride to fully work.
Advantages of Cleaning & Polishing done by Dental Hygienists:
- Teeth will be clean, especially those areas unreachable by toothbrushes
- Removal of hard calcular deposits which toothbrushes cannot remove
Mouth guards are used to prevent dental abrasion from teeth grinding, relieve painful symptoms of TMJ disorder and prevent oral injury from physical contact activities.
- Sports persons may benefit from custom-made mouth guards to protect their teeth from damage during sporting activities.
- Mouth guards may treat teeth grinding or bruxism conditions where tooth contact wears down and exposes the dentin.
- Night mouth guards are designed to be worn during sleep when teeth grinding occurs, or may be worn during the day to prevent the habit if caused by anxiety.
- Mouth guards are also used to treat individuals with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Individuals with TMJ experience jaw pain that may extend to the face, head and neck. The pain is caused by overexertion of connecting muscles.