Depending on how often you visit, you may believe you grasp the importance of routine dental checkups. They’ll obviously examine your teeth, maybe your gums too if they look off. From there, it’s just the standard cleaning, followed by some at-home recommendations and follow-up for your next appointment. Isn’t that about it?
Actually, dental checkups have other features key to good oral health. See for yourself in this summary of three things you didn’t know about them!
They Screen You for Oral Cancer
You may find it surprising that dentists screen you for oral cancer during each six-month check-up. In these efforts, they will check your lips, head, neck, and mouth for any visible symptoms of oral cancer. Said symptoms might include sores, red or white patches, lumps, or malignant growths. The entire screening process can be completed in just a few minutes, so you likely won’t even notice they’re checking to make sure these warning signs haven’t developed.
They Examine Your Tongue, Tonsils, and Salivary Glands
Your dentist will also use the checkup to assess the health of your oral cavity. They might start by examining your tongue’s size and texture to ensure a healthy mouth. Your tongue’s characteristics can indicate a lot about your health, dental or otherwise.
Next, your dentist will look at your tonsils and throat for any signs of infection or swelling. Like the tongue, the tonsils can also tell a lot about health concerns present in the body.
Finally, the dentist will check your salivary glands to make sure they’re producing adequate amounts of saliva. This production is essential, as saliva coats your mouth and helps wash away harmful agents. Without it, your teeth and mouth would become prone to cavities, bacteria, infection, and bad breath.
They Check Your Bite & Jawbone
Besides looking out for plaque or enamel loss, your dentist will check your bite and jaw for problems.
They partly do so to see if your teeth have moved. If there’s a significant degree of misalignment, your dentist might suggest braces as a suitable treatment plan. In that case, they’ll recommend you to a specialized dental professional known as an “orthodontist.”
They also look at the area to see if you’ve developed TMD, a jaw disorder frequently caused by teeth-grinding. Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that connects the jawbone and the jaw. By making sure it and your bite are working correctly, your dentist can tell whether you show signs of TMD.
Dental checkups include teeth cleaning, home instructions, etc., but that doesn’t cover everything. Keep the above things in mind, so you’ll appreciate how much your dentists can accomplish in just a single visit!
About the Practice
Ten Mile Dental is based in Frisco, CO. Headed by Dr. Brett E. Amedro, who earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Michigan, their team provides quality patient care in a hospitable setting. Since 2001, they have offered general and cosmetic dentistry to many families in the Frisco community and surrounding Summit County. Using digital x-rays, the DIAGNOdent laser, intraoral cameras, and more, they meet any patient’s unique dental needs. For more information or to schedule an appointment, the practice can be reached at their website or by phone at (970)-668-1010.