What is Involved in Basic Dental Care?

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When you're having your regular dental appointment, it seems as though your dental hygienist does most of the heavy lifting. While it may be true that you spend more time during the cleaning with the dental hygienist, your dentist has a number of diagnostic tools to help manage your oral health. Your dental care team is just that – a team. Your individual treatment plan is based on a lot of factors, including your self-care routine, your overall health, and the specifics of your health and dental insurance coverage. Here are some of the more common treatments and examinations involved in basic dental care.

General Maintenance

Every six to nine months, depending on your care needs and your insurance coverage details, cleaning and polishing of your teeth is recommended. At regular intervals you should also have routine examinations, and recommended X-rays as necessary. In the unlucky event that your X-rays show signs of decay, fillings and extractions are also part of general dental maintenance. Based on the findings of your regular check-ups, your dentist has a number of additional tests and diagnostic tools to help maintain your oral health.

Basic Diagnostics and Treatments

Once the hygienist is done with cleaning and polishing your teeth, your dentist will come in to continue with your dental check-up. Tests and treatments that may be part of your basic dental care include:

  • Complete Oral Examination to look for problems like deteriorating fillings and conditions that could affect your overall health, like signs of gum disease or oral cancer.
  • Basic Oral Surgery to remove partially or totally impacted teeth.
  • Panoramic X-Ray which will take a shot of all of your teeth and your upper and lower jaws.

Kid Stuff

The super-soft surface of children’s teeth requires a little extra TLC, and because they are the placeholders for adult teeth it’s important to take care of baby teeth. Common treatments in children’s dental care can include topical fluoride applications and pit and fissure sealants to prevent or slow the progress of decay in baby teeth. In some cases, space maintainers may be recommended when primary teeth have been knocked out or have fallen out too early.

Prevention is the Key

All of the tools and treatments your dentist uses are meant to preserve your oral health for many years to come. If you don’t have health and dental insurance, or your insurance doesn’t cover a recommended test or treatment, talk to your dentist. They may be able to help you find a more affordable treatment. However, there is no time like the present to investigate the right dental insurance package for your family’s needs. The sooner you start taking care of your oral health with regular visits to the dentist for basic dental care, the sooner you can start enjoying the health benefits of regular treatment.


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