You may have often been advised `check your teeth every 6 months’ since your school days. However, some people may not need check-ups so often, while others may need more frequent visits.
In fact, the interval between check-ups may vary from 3 months to 2 years depending on the oral (teeth and gums) health status and risk factors.
A dental check-up is important to detect any oral health problems you may have and also to ensure that you have good oral health.
You should not delay or ignore a dental problem until it becomes serious. Prevention is better than cure, not only will it prevent you from pain, but also saves cost and time.
During dental check- ups, the dentist usually:-
- Examines your teeth, gums and mouth
- Enquires about your medical condition*
(*Patients with systemic diseases for e.g Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, bleeding problems, autoimmune disease are at risk)
- Asks about any changes in your oral health (teeth, gum and mouth) since your last visit.
- Enquires about your diet and advises on good oral hygiene practice (brushing, flossing, mouth rinsing etc) and also risks of smoking and alcohol intake.
Showing a patient how to brush and floss teeth
- Decides what treatment is needed
- Schedules the following appointment for check up or treatment.
Following a dental check-up, the dentist will be able to assess your oral health status and he/she will suggest the appropriate check-up interval for you.
|If you have excellent oral health, you will be advised to return for a dental check-up after 1 or 2 years.|
However, if you have problems or are at risk, you will be advised to have more frequent dental check-ups, either 3 monthly, 6 monthly or once a year.
Besides early detection of oral health problems, dental check- ups can also help save lives. Studies shows that 300,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. You may not know or be aware that you are having problems because the signs and symptoms of oral cancer are usually hidden. The dentist will examine any abnormalities present on the oral mucosa, lips, tongue, palate and throat. Early detection of potentially malignant lesions and oral cancer will allow for early treatment.
You can get dental check- ups at any registered dental clinic near your place. Check out for the location of government dental clinics under the Ministry of Health (MOH) at www.moh.gov.my.
MOH dental clinic
In conclusion, the best way to maintain good oral health is to have regular dental check-ups.
|Last Reviewed||:||30 August 2012|
|Writer||:||Dr. Che Noor Aini bt. Che Omar|
|Dr. Sharol Lail b. Sujak|
|Dr. Laila bt. Abd Jalil|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Faizah bt. Kamaruddin|
|Dr. Savithri a/p Vengadasalam|