It is common knowledge that majority of Nigerians do not consider it needful or desirable to visit medical or dental clinics for routine check up. Oftentimes, it is illness that takes them to the hospital. A number of reasons account for this unwholesome habit. The major one is that they have too many problems to contend with as they struggle for survival. Another major reason is access to healthcare. Other reasons include afford- ability of the needed care and awareness.
The poor financial status of majority of Nigerians drives them to engage in self- medication. But it is a well established fact that prevention is always better and cheaper than cure. After all it said that a stitch in time saves nine. So go for routine dental check up.
Routine dental check up is a visit to a dental clinic based on knowledge and personal values. The primary objective is to assess or check the state of health of the person’s teeth and the general oral tissue, to know whether they are healthy. Every human being that is alive, right from the President, governors, legislators, justices, general overseers, chief executives, university lecturers, managers, junior executives and down to the gate men need to have routine dental check up. But the question is, how many Nigerians bother to go for routine dental check?
Routine check is done by a dental surgeon or dentist at a dental clinic as the patient is seated in a dental chair which can be electronically reclined to put the patient in a lying position, under a bright light. The dental doctor is usually assisted by a dental nurse.
As would be expected, the doctor has use sterilised dental instruments, among which are dental mirror, probe and explorer, which are used to check the status of the gums, teeth, palate and whole soft tissues in the oral cavity.
Modern dental units have intra-oral camera that enables the dentist see on a monitor the state of the patient’s mouth and teeth. This procedure, along with diagnostic questions and interactive session with the dental surgeon, takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
There may be need to take radiographic images or use of intra-oral cameras to highlight areas of concern. Routine dental check is quite informative, educative and expository.