Dental consultation – what should it consist of?

Konsultacja stomatologiczna – z czego powinna się składać?

Daily dental care is important, but not sufficient to properly care for your oral health. Regular dental consultations, sometimes called ‘checkups’, are key here. An experienced dentist may notice some changes before they become obvious, and this means that many problems can be fixed before they become truly annoying.

What should a dental consultation consist of?

A dental consultation actually has two stages. In the first one, the dentist must determine how you take care of your teeth: what daily hygiene procedures you carry out, how often you visit the dentist, and what procedures (and when) were carried out. Once this information is collected, the dentist has sufficient background to review your oral health. What exactly is the dentist looking for during such a review?

  • Caries – the stage of development is determined by the extent of changes and their nature.
  • Bacterial plaque, deposits, and tartar build-up to be removed. Important note: with advanced tartar, it may not even be possible to fully assess your dental health, so your dentist may recommend a repeated post-hygienization check-up.
  • Orthodontic defects.
  • Dental diseases of the teeth require surgical or root canal treatment.
  • Places that may require prosthetic and implant restorations.

A good dental clinic will usually also recommend X-ray imaging as part of the consultation. An X-ray allows us to make a more complete assessment and detect problems that are not visible on the surface of the teeth. Radiographs will also be necessary if the patient reports episodes of dental pain but the underlying review does not indicate the source or if some teeth are suspected to require root canal treatment. X-ray image does not have to be taken at every consultation if these take place often, but the dentist, knowing the history and current state of the patient’s oral health, will be able to recommend them with the appropriate frequency.

How to prepare for a dental consultation?

A basic dental examination does not require advanced preparation. Simply brush, floss, and rinse your teeth like you do every day. Do not particularly try to remove plaque or introduce new methods of care.

If you have older X-rays, implant, or periodontal records, take them with you as this can help your dentist assess your current oral health. If you do not have such documents, it is not a problem.

What tests can be ordered after a dental consultation?

Depending on what results from the consultation, the dentist may order very different examinations. The basis will be a pantomographic image, which is basically an element of extensive diagnostics, but not only.

  • If orthodontic defects are found, the dentist may recommend direct consultation with an orthodontist who will order additional X-rays (e.g. cephalometric)
  • Additional images will be taken in case of patients with deep decay or diseased tooth roots.
  • For some gum or mucosal diseases, certain laboratory tests may be recommended by your dentist.

Most often, additional X-ray imaging is ordered, but in the case of some patients, the dentist will recommend a visit to the GP to exclude systemic diseases that may affect oral health.

What to consider when choosing a dentist for a dental consultation?

Professionalism is a key element of the assessment. A dental health check is actually performed routinely and is not a complicated procedure. However, it requires tremendous accuracy and perceptiveness. Its purpose is to detect problems at an early stage, so the appointment should take place in a clinic known for its excellent level of patient care.

For your convenience, choose a dentist who has their own dental X-ray room in the clinic. If there is also an implant specialist, orthodontist, or surgeon on site, then it will probably also be possible to perform the treatment in the same place. Is it necessary? No, but it is certainly very convenient and usually allows one to take better and complete care of your teeth and gum health.

How often should periodic check-ups be performed?

The first visit with the child (the so-called adaptive visit) can take place after the emergence of the first tooth and then every 3-6 months. For children, the recommended interval is 6-12 months. For adults, it is recommended to do the check-up once a year, but if necessary, the doctor may recommend more frequent check-ups.

Dental consultation and pregnancy – is it safe to have a dental check-up?

In short: YES! Perhaps the dentist thinks that the X-ray could be too dangerous in a given case, but nothing stands in the way of performing at least a partial examination. You can even prepare a post-pregnancy treatment plan for some cavities. If root canal treatment is not an urgent necessity, it can also be postponed. Even if a comprehensive dental consultation is not possible at the moment, it is worth carrying out at least a basic check-up.

We will help you enjoy healthy teeth for a long time!

It does not matter that you have not had your dental health checked for years. We won’t judge you, but we will be happy to help you get back into the correct routine. Book a dental consultation at a professional clinic and take care of your teeth in the right way!