Why have dental check ups?
A dental check up or dental examination is a preventative measure. We do these not to find problems, but to identify early problems and help you prevent them from developing. The earlier we can identify problems developing, the less likely they will need fixing. Often you will have no pain until a problem is a really big and expensive problem. Self-diagnosis saying you don’t need to go for a check up because you have no pain can cause expensive and painful future problems.
On an examination we check your teeth, gums and the soft tissues of the mouth area. All the surfaces of the teeth are checked. X-Rays are taken so we can check between the teeth and under fillings. We also check the gum (gingiva) health as the gums and surrounding bone are the foundations of the teeth. You may have perfect teeth but unhealthy gums, this is incredibly common.
We also check the soft tissues of your mouth for general health and for cancers. In New Zealand oral cancers account for 2% of all cancer rates. It is the 11th highest rate of cancer related deaths worldwide. Thankfully rates are falling with decreasing rates of smoking.
It is recommended that people have a dental exam with X-Rays once a year. If you have a high decay rate or active gum disease we may recommend you have a check up 6 monthly until will can stabilise the disease, then continue with a 12 monthly check up.
If we identify any problems these will be shown to you. There are usually a few different treatment options of various price ranges and different longevities. We will discuss the various options and and select those that work for you.
A dental examination is a great way to meet your dentist and get a feel for them. No treatment is done at the time unless you have requested it, meaning it is a friendly, relaxed way to meet us for the first time.