Dentists recommend that you have regular check ups every six to twelve months so that any early decay can be spotted before it gets the chance to cause a lot of damage. The examination also makes sure that your gums are good and healthy as in later years some teeth can be lost to gum disease. It is still important to visit the dentist even if you wear dentures.
The importance of the dental exam?
It is important to attend a dentist on a regular basis as any potential problems will be identified early and appropriate action taken. Tooth decay if left untreated can result in tooth loss. For this reason it is important to attend for a check up as often as your dentist recommends.
What will the dentist do at the examination?
Firstly they check your teeth for cavities and broken fillings or crowns. Dental decay may appear as a hole or sometimes as a dark shadow underneath the surface of the enamel. If there is a hole in a tooth the dentist may place a temporary filling to stop food accumulating in it.
The dentist will then check the gums and your general oral hygiene to ensure there are no problems there. They may use a special probe to test the depth of the pockets around your teeth in order to detect gum disease early.
Finally the soft tissues are checked for ulcerations or other lesions. The dentist may also check the jaws and associated muscles.
The dentist may then take radiographs (x-rays) if necessary. Usually two small radiographs of your back teeth are taken every two years or when you attend a new dentist. These are to look for any hidden decay between the teeth and to check the bone levels for signs of gum disease.
But I wear dentures, do I still need an exam?
Some full denture wearers assume that because they have no teeth that they don’t not need to see a dentist. With increasing age the chance of oral Cancer or other lesions forming within the mouth increases and it is therefore important for your dentist to check this. Dentures can become loose with age due to the bone resorbing and may need replacing or the fitting surface relining.