General Dentistry Facts: What Does a Dentist Look For at a Checkup?

General Dentist Visalia, CA

General dentistry refers to the primary oral care that dentists provide to patients. Primary care includes preventive maintenance, restorative treatments, and routine appointments, such as cleanings and examinations. Routine appointments should occur twice a year or at least every six months to ensure that optimal oral health is maintained. During routine appointments, the general dentist will check for a few things. Continue reading to find out more!

Highlights of a general dentistry check-up appointment

Outlined below are the things that a general dentist looks for during a dental check-up. Reviewing this information can be helpful to those who are preparing for an upcoming appointment.

Warning signs

One thing that a general dentist does during a routine check-up appointment is to check for any warning signs in the oral cavity. The mouth holds a large number of bacteria, some of which are harmful. It is important to identify any warning signs that bacterial growth has left. Here are a few of the specifics that a general dentist will check for:

  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Yellow or white patches on the tongue
  • Deep gum pockets
  • Plaque or tartar build-up on the teeth or along the gum lines
  • Dark spots in between the cusps of the molar teeth
  • White or red spots on the gums 
  • Indents in the teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Worn spots on the surface of the teeth

These signs may indicate several problems, such as cavities or gum disease. If the general dentist does identify any of these signs, a plan of action will be implemented to ensure a positive outcome. 

Not all warning signs necessarily indicate a need for serious treatment. Instead, it may just mean that there could be a problem in the future. In this case, the general dentist will outline a few things that the patient can do to improve their oral health. For example, a prescription toothpaste or mouthwash may be administered to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Another route is for the patient to undergo dental cleanings more frequently. 

Other things

Aside from the visual examination that is performed in general dentistry, X-rays will also likely be taken. X-rays give the dentist a different view of the oral cavity, which will highlight any areas of concern. Things that X-rays can show include problems with the roots and jawbone. Typically, X-rays are taken once a year because not much is likely to change within a year's time, unless there are other symptoms that indicate a need to take a deeper look. 

Find out more

Routine check-up appointments are extremely important for maintaining good oral health. It is important to never skip these appointments because that could lead to a higher risk of developing cavities or gum disease. To learn more about a general dentist's role in oral health, reach out today! Any questions or concerns can be addressed and an evaluation can be performed. 

Request an appointment here: https://www.dentistofvisalia.com or call Visalia Care Dental at (559) 975-1213 for an appointment in our Visalia office. 

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