Dental Checkup Brisbane
Getting the big picture!
It is easy to skip straight to the obvious problem. Almost anyone can identify a big hole in a tooth. But the hole will keep coming back if the reason for the hole is not explored. Too often we have a new patient come to the practice for a dental checkup with a broken tooth with a history of the tooth being filled and refilled many times before with no long term success. The filling keeps coming out again and again.
For that filling to be successful long term, it is important to assess the big picture. At Central Brisbane Dental, we believe patients are more than just a mouth. We make sure we understand the whole person so that our holistic approach ensures your dental wellbeing.
It all begins with a thorough medical and dental history. We take the time to talk to you and fully understand your concerns and your situation. Are there predisposing factors that put you more at risk of dental problems? Not only are there genetic and developmental problems that make teeth and gum tissue weaker and more prone to breakdown, diet and lifestyle and certain medical conditions and medications directly affect our teeth and gums. If our patient with the filling problem grew up where there was no fluoride in the water system, then their teeth would have formed without the added enamel hardening benefit of fluoride and hence be softer and more prone to breakdown. Another example are common medications used to treat high blood pressure and depression which often cause dry mouth. Taking away saliva means taking away the body’s natural way of fighting oral bacteria and repairing teeth with mineral. Without this natural defence, teeth are more prone to decay, wearing and cracking.
A comprehensive examination or full dental checkup allows us to evaluate all the oral tissues in detail. Not only are the teeth and gums checked, we also check the jaw joints and jaw muscles, saliva and salivary glands, and other oral soft tissues such as the tongue, palate and cheeks. Tooth decay and gum disease are well known dental problems that have specific characteristics but not the only ones that exist. Tooth wear for example has become a major issue with our increasingly stressful daily lives. Tense and sore jaw joints and jaw muscles, together with ridging of the cheeks, scalloping of the tongue and flattening of the teeth point to clenching and grinding of the teeth. If the clenching and grinding is severe enough to break tooth structure, then there is no hope for weaker filling material to withstand the same force. It is crucial that clenching and grinding is diagnosed and treated for our filling to hold long term.
During a dental checkup X-rays of the teeth may be taken if required, usually only every 2 years unless there are specific problems. There are obviously things in the mouth we cannot see with the naked eye and need the help of x-rays for us to assess. Without x-rays, we would not be able to see decay underneath a filling between 2 teeth or whether the nerve of a tooth has been damaged or if there is an abscess in the bone around the tooth under the gum.
Taking Impressions of the teeth and gums to form study models and placing these models on an artificial jaw joint may also help us mimic your mouth and more readily detect problems. Performing certain jaw movement for a long time would not only be tiring for the patient but difficult for us to analyse with the lips and cheeks in the way.
Once we have all the information, we develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your needs, addressing not only the treatment needed but the cause of the problem as well so we will have successful long term treatment in healthy mouths. At the end of the examination or dental checkup, not only will you have a clear understanding of your dental problems, but also the treatment options and the associated costs for you to consider.