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11 / 09 / 2018

Your Six Monthly Dental Check Up

For some people, taking time from work or other activities to see their dentist for a check-up may seem like an unnecessary inconvenience.

This is probably especially so for those fortunate patients who are routinely given a clean bill of health. Even if you are one of those people though, it is important that you do not miss your appointments. Even a healthy tooth can be painful if it becomes infected, and spotting that early on can make a big difference to the long-term prognosis. It is commonly accepted that oral health checks should be carried out every six months. This is a perfectly acceptable length of time for most patients, but, if we do request that you see us more frequently, we would ask that you try to do so. Certain groups of patients, such as diabetics and those with a weak immune system may be at a higher risk of problems such as periodontitis, and it is therefore important that this is closely monitored.

What happens at your checkup?

We ask that you try to arrive approximately ten minutes before your appointment time. This allows time for any administration and consent forms that need to be signed. Being prompt will also mean that others will not be delayed for their appointments. If you are sitting in a waiting room in some discomfort with a painful tooth, even a few minutes can seem like a long time, so naturally, we try to avoid any delays if possible. Once you are in the dentist’s chair, we will, first of all, ask you a few questions about your general health and whether there have been any changes in your circumstances or medication. It is important that you provide us with accurate information, please. Some medications, such as blood thinners, may impact our ability to perform a procedure safely, so please do not omit any information.

If you have noticed any specific problems with a tooth or your gums, please let us know. Hoping it will go away will not solve the problem. Although we check all of your teeth and gums thoroughly, it is still very useful to be aware of any particular problems that you are having.

Our Ipswich dentists will then gently examine your teeth, looking for signs of decay, cracks or fissures, and gum disease symptoms. We may also measure any gum recession and note this down to compare with your previous visits.

Finally, we will perform a soft tissue check; examining your cheeks, tongue and other soft tissues for any unusual signs. These can be caused by many things, but, if we feel that they are of concern, you may be referred to your GP for further investigation. Some soft tissue symptoms can be potential indications of oral cancer. Your referral to a GP should not be taken as a sign that this is the case though. It is purely precautionary and advisable that you are seen by someone qualified to diagnose any potential problems of this kind.

X-rays

Every now and then, we will take an x-ray to see what is going on beneath your gums. We may also do this if you are experiencing a problem that is not showing a physical ‘above the line’ sign. Examples of problems that can be detected in this way are periodontitis and root canal infections. X-rays will also routinely be used prior to root canal treatment to check for the presence of any abscesses. The modern x-ray equipment at the Lighthouse Dental Practice means that they are perfectly safe and provide very low doses of radiation. Despite this, it is important that you let us know if you are pregnant as there may be some small risks attached.

What happens next?

If you are given a clean bill of dental health, we will simply request that you make another appointment for six months time. Naturally, if you have any problems in between your appointments, you should contact us so that we can investigate. If we do find any problems during your check-up, another appointment will need to be made for the treatment to be carried out. We may also suggest that you make an appointment to see the dental hygienist, especially where we detect potential signs of gum disease such as receding or sore gums. Hygienist appointments are relatively inexpensive and are a good way to help keep your teeth and gums in great shape.

If you fail to keep your check-up appointments

If, for whatever reason, you decide not to attend our Ipswich practice for regular checkups, there is every likelihood that small cavities and early-stage gum problems will go undetected.

Decaying teeth are not automatically painful, at least until a later stage, and you may be given no warning signs when the tooth first starts to decay. If this is not detected due to a lack of a check-up, you can expect to need more extensive treatment when you finally do have an examination, or have to contact us for an emergency appointment, due to the pain.Oral health checks can also pick up potential early signs of mouth cancer. Receiving early treatment for this kind of illness could even prove to be the difference between life and death!

Cancelling an appointment

We understand that sometimes life gets in the way and the date that you initially made for your check-up may be inconvenient or even possible. We are happy to change an appointment date, preferably keeping it close to the original one. We do ask though, that you give us at least 48 hours notice so that we can fill your place with someone who needs a quick appointment.

Keeping your teeth, gums and mouth, in general, is very important, so please do not miss your check-up and live to regret it.

Appointments and changes to appointments can be made by calling the Lighthouse Dental Practice on 01473 257 379

Dr Codrin Tocca has worked in general dentistry in both Sweden and England (GDC 71594)

We are here to help you
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

stars 1

“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I...“

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