You can expect a complete exam of your teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check for growth and development. If necessary, a gentle cleaning can be performed, followed by polishing the teeth and removing plaque, tartar and stains. The dentist can give a minor tutorial on how to properly use dental floss and fluoride. A dentist is a doctor who is specially trained to care for your teeth.
When you go for a checkup, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to see if there are any problems. The dentist also wants to make sure that your teeth develop properly as you grow. If your mouth hurts, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers. When you check in, the receptionist may ask you to fill out a questionnaire for patients about their oral health history.
Dentists and orthodontists are two types of doctors who receive a large office to diagnose and treat oral health conditions. If you have dental insurance, check if your dentist is part of the network before scheduling your appointment to save money. Some dentists prefer to specialize in other areas of dentistry, such as oral pathology, orthodontics, or pediatrics. After finishing dental school, dentists must take and pass the national dental exam to become licensed professionals.
Your new dentist will want to learn about your oral health so that you can more easily notice changes or problems during future visits. Dentists usually go to college for a predentistry or premedical degree before going to graduate school in dentistry. The dentist will examine all of your teeth and check your gums to make sure they are strong and healthy. For the past two years, dentists have been working with patients under the supervision of a licensed dental school.
It's also important to keep your dentist informed of any changes in your general health, as many medical conditions can also affect your dental health. The American Dental Association (link opens in a new tab) has resources to help people interested in a dental career. Dentists repair fractured teeth, fill cavities, remove cavities, straighten teeth, apply sealants, whiten the patient's teeth, and educate about proper oral hygiene. Depending on what the dentist finds during the exam, he or she will recommend a treatment plan, addressing the most needed care first.
Once you're called to an exam room, you'll meet with the hygienist and, when you're done cleaning, you'll meet with the dentist. On the other hand, people who have taken great care of their teeth and gums and spent years without any problems may need to see the dentist less often.