A check-up, which involves a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, will prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. At Smile-Hub, we recommend a dental check up every six months with Dr. Essack, which when supported by a good at-home routine, will help to keep your mouth healthy.
Nowadays, a regular examination uses both modern technology and Dr. Essack’s up-to-the-minute knowledge and skills, all in a virtually pain-free environment.
At the first consultation, Dr. Essack will want to find out about your health, both oral and general. He needs to be aware of your medical background as it may impact the way that he treats and diagnoses issues – diabetes, for example, can increase the risk of gum disease and may need different anaesthesia. Certain medicines, meanwhile, can cause dry mouth, which can increase your risk of cavities. Importantly, all your medical information will be kept confidential.
It’s also a good time to discuss any dental phobias – for some patients, fear of the dentist starts in childhood after a bad experience. Dr. Essack will take this on board – in fact, just talking about these issues can actually help relieve them.
After the first consultation, a full-check-up will take place, followed by a thorough treatment plan.
At each check-up, Dr. Essack or the dental hygienist will ask about any difficulties since your last visit. As you settle into the dental chair, a check-up, scaling and polishing takes place.
Check Up: Dr. Essack or the dental hygienist will check for cavities and to see if there’s any plaque – that’s the clear, sticky layer of bacteria – or tartar on your teeth. Next, he checks the gums, seeing if the spaces between your teeth and gums are shallow. Gum disease becomes apparent when the spaces become deeper. Dr. Essack also checks the tongue, throat, face and neck, looking for any signs of trouble or swelling as well as detecting any signs that might indicate oral cancer.
Scale & polish: Plaque and tartar build-up needs to be removed, so the hygienist uses special instruments such as an ultrasonic scaler to painlessly knock loose any larger pieces of tartar, and provide deep cleaning above and below the gum line – all with a tickling vibration. Once all the surfaces are smooth, they are polished to remove stains from the teeth using a slow-speed handpiece with a soft rubber cap that spins. Inside the cap is a polish comprised of an abrasive toothpaste-like material and fluoride.
Depending on your oral exam, dental history and any risk for developing cavities, a dental X-ray may be required.
An X-ray can give Dr. Essack a good view of your jaw alignment, any decay between teeth as well as identifying any impacted teeth, abscesses, or cysts on the roots of your teeth.
After the examination, Dr. Essack will discuss any treatment recommendations, covering everything from tooth brushing techniques to your diet and nutrition, alcohol intake, and smoking.
If there are any complications, a return visit may be required for restoration work, such as a filling or crown. For more complex work, Dr. Essack may need to refer you to a specialist such as an orthodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon or an endodontist. At all stages, Dr. Essack is happy to discuss all your treatment options with you.
After completing the check-up, your next visit will be confirmed. Dental check-ups are generally recommended every six months though it can be different for each individual depending on their oral health needs.