Examination and cleaning
According to the Ordre des dentistes du Québec, it is recommended to visit your dentist for a dental examination and routine cleaning every 6 months. However, this frequency can be adjusted to 4, 6, 9 or 12 months depending on your health status (oral and general) and dental hygiene habits.
The dental examination includes the dentist’s assessment of the general state of the mouth: teeth, gums, tongue, palate, etc. in order to detect, if necessary, signs of present or future problems.
Cleaning (also called prophylaxis) is performed by the dental hygienist and includes cleaning, scaling and polishing.
Indications for treatment
Routine examination allows early detection:
- The presence of cavities;
- The presence of deep furrows on the top of a permanent molar;
- A weakened, cracked or fractured tooth;
- Inflammation or other signs of gum disease (e. gingivitis, periodontitis, periodontal abscess, periapical abscess, lack of attached gum, etc.);
- A crown or a filling in poor condition;
- A lesion;
- A cyst;
- A sign of grinding or clenching of the teeth (bruxism);
- A dental movement caused by the absence of certain teeth;
- Occlusion disorders (interlocking of the teeth of one jaw with respect to the other when the mouth is closed);
- Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (which joins your jaw to your skull);
- Bone loss;
- Wisdom teeth included;
- Oral cancers.
- Routine examination makes it possible to regularly monitor changes inside your mouth that could affect not only your oral health, but also your overall health;
- The dental examination makes it possible to act as a preventive measure by detecting problems at an early stage, if necessary. It is therefore an excellent way to avoid costly treatments.
Risks and consequences of not treating
- Appearance of dental problems;
- Appearance of pain;
- More invasive treatment to correct a situation;
- Permanent irreversible damage;
- Additional costs.
Processing steps and times
- Screening, descaling, polishing, flossing;
- Topical application of fluoride (16 years and under);
- Hygiene instruction.
- Taking radiographs;
- Feedback on current treatments (e.g. implants, orthodontic treatment, follow-up for surgery, etc.);
- Responses to specific patient requests;
- Review of the patient’s general health status;
- Dental examination;
- Explanation of the treatment plan if applicable.
Important information to pass on to your dentist
Changes in your mouth since the last visit:
- Change in tooth colour;
- Changing the position of the teeth;
- Sensitivity of teeth or gums to heat, cold and sweet drinks and foods;
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth;
- A wound in the mouth that doesn’t heal;
- Soft tissue discoloration;
- Tension in the muscles of the jaw or neck.
Changes in your lifestyle or general health:
- Taking new medications;
- Illness (any new disease diagnosed since the last dental examination);
- Varies according to the work to be done on each patient.
- Maintain good oral hygiene practices between appointments, including brushing teeth 2 to 3 times a day, flossing, interdental brushes and mouthwash as needed;
- Return to your dentist for examination and cleaning every six months or as determined by your oral health professional.
- No radiography for pregnant women or women who think they are pregnant or for people undergoing intensive radiotherapy treatment.