How often should you go to the dentist?
You should go to the dentist at least every six months. Regular examinations are needed not only to minimize the loss of teeth (caries), but also to control the health of the entire oral cavity. If you neglect your teeth, you are exposed to the risk of infections that can be transmitted by the bloodstream and therefore generally endanger your health. Like natural teeth, dentures also require a regular inspection, and more so that all the teeth are exhausted over time and must be replaced. If you wear a complete denture, you should go to the dentist at least every two years.
What happens during examination?
The dentist will first examine your mouth to find any possible disorder or illness that is not limited to the teeth. Red and swollen gums are the sign of gingivitis or gingival abscess; white colored areas in the mouth may be a sign of inflammation of the lining of the mucous membrane, leukoplakia or oral lichen planus.
Your dentist will then look at teeth with a mirror and needle probe, ie.. look for possible spots of changed color (which is a sign of the caries) or cracks that indicate the beginning of cavity development. He will also look at existing fillings to determine if a portion of the filling has been removed or found the development of new cavities at the edge of the filling. You may also be given a special mouthwash which contains a color. The color will paint the deposits on the teeth – that is, the layer of food particles, mucus, and bacteriae that causes tooth decay (caries).
If you wear a denture, the dentist will check how well it fits in your mouth, as well as the possible consequences of wearing the denture on the gums and on the natural teeth.
During the examination the dentist will ask you about your general health condition, by asking questions like: ”Do you have a heart or respiratory disease, or diabetes or jaundice?”, ”Do you have any allergies?”, ”Are you pregnant?”, ”Do you take any tablets?” The dentist must take some precautions – if the patient has a weak heart and the dentist has to take out hit tooth, or perform any other procedure that may cause bleeding, there is a risk of bacterial endocarditis. Diabetics who do not control the disease carefully can fall in the coma due to the stress they experience on the dental chair. In addition, if the treatment of diabetics requires general anesthesia, the procedure may have to be performed at the hospital. People who have overcome the jaundice may be (and without symptoms) carriers of hepatitis, so blood tests are needed before the dentist chooses the treatment. People prone to allergies often respond to antibiotics. If the patient is pregnant, the dentist will pay special attention to the patient’s gums (because there is a possibility of gingivitis). If you are taking any medication, your dentist must check that there are no harmful interactions between these drugs and medicines that he will prescribe you.
Every year (or every two years), a dentist will take X-rays of your teeth to find any deficiencies that normal control did not detect.
An examination at a dentist
During the examination, the dentist will attempt to detect the initial signs of tooth decay (caries), or any inflammation or other problems on the gums. The dentist may also take an X-ray of your teeth to find caries that can not be seen visually.
He will also look at the dead (devitalized) teeth with filled roots to make sure that the abscess is not created at the base of the tooth. The images also track the growth of wisdom teeth, determines the teeth shaking in the jaw in gingival abscess.
Dental stones can be removed in a variety of ways. The tip of the device vibrates 25 000 times per second and breaks the stones into thousands of tiny pieces.
If the tooth is partially decayed or chipped, the dentist will replace the damaged part with filling. White plastic fillings are applied to the front teeth, while the silver amalgam (silver, tin and mercury mixture) is generally used on the back teeth. If the procedure could be painful, the dentist will inject the local anesthetic into your gums. The dentist will cut a decayed part of the tooth with a drill, and then form an opening hold the filling firmly. If you got a local anesthetic, make sure that you do not bite your lips or tongue (while they are still numb).
If the enamel is damaged, the dentist will fill the tooth as the bacteriae can destroy the dentin and ultimately attack the pulp. The dentist will drill the opening and remove any rotten or damaged parts. The opening is shaped so that filling does not fall. The opening is filled with amalgam, a mixture of silver, tin and mercury. If the filling is done on a very visible tooth, a white cream in a plastic resin is applied.
If the tooth is broken, fragile, if it lost its color or decayed, the dentist will usually make an artificial crown if the base and the root of the tooth are healthy. Typically, a white porcelain crown is placed on the visible teeth. Gold, palaldium or platinum (due to its strength) is applied to the rear teeth. This procedure usually requires two or three visits to the dentist, as one visit (or two) is required to prepare the tooth. Meanwhile, you will wear a temporary plastic or aluminum crown.
Setting the crown
A cracked tooth, a tooth with large filling or a broken tooth can be replaced by a crown, and the remaining part of the tooth is being shaped to set the crown. The crown, which is actually a hollow shell, is mounted on a shaped tooth and is cement.
If you have an empty space (up to four teeth) between healthy natural teeth, you will need a bridge – an artificial tooth (or teeth) that fills an empty space. Between the base of the dental bridge and the gums, the dentist will leave an empty space for proper cleaning of both base and gums. Bridges in the front part of the mouth are made of platinum alloy with a porcelain, while the bridges in the back are made of gold or gold and platinum alloys.
The tooth must be removed for a number of reasons – it may decayed or broken so much that it is impossible to fill it or put a crown on it; it may cause compression or malocution; it may be affected with the gingival abscess; it may prevent another tooth from penetrating through the gums. In most cases, a patient will recieve two injections of local anesthetic prior to removal. General anesthesia can also be applied if the patient is a small child, if the patient needs to remove wisdom teeth or if several teeth are to be removed. After removing your tooth (or teeth) you should not drink alcohol, wash your mouth, do a hard physical activity, or touch an empty space – base – where your tooth was.
If the base is bleeding, take a clean handkerchief, fold it and use it as a tampon. Keep it in the place of bleeding for half an hour, squeezing it with your teeth and sit upright. If the bleeding does not stops, contact the dentist.
If many teeth are missing, the patient will need a partial denture. A complete denture is a substitute for all natural teeth. Dentures are made of solid plastic material, or partially made of plastic material and partly of metal. Complete dentures are supported by the gums, while the partial dentures are fit onto the natural teeth. Dentures usually require up to five visits to the dentist. First, the gums prints are made, and then the pieces of white wax-like material are placed in the mouth, one for each jaw, and adjust to determine the correct depth of the denture. The dentist will talk to you about the size and color of false teeth. In most cases, the patient will wear a temporary denture with a wax base, so that the dentist can make all the necessary modifications. As the denture is made, the dentist adjusts it. At the final visit, the dentist checks to see if the new teeth are “working” properly, and whether they may cause wounds or ulcers.