It’s recommended that patients visit a dentist every six months to have a teeth cleaning and exam. This routine preventive care helps to reduce your risk of oral diseases and catch issues like cavities or gum disease early when they do develop. Unfortunately, many patients do not stick to this suggested schedule of dental care, and some avoid the dentist entirely until an emergency occurs.
Common Reasons for Missing or Skipping Routine Exams
So, what motivates people to postpone this important routine care? Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Fear: Many patients develop dental anxiety as a result of their earliest experiences with a dentist, and that can keep them out of the office for years, even for services as simple as teeth cleaning and exams.
- Financial concerns: Patients may feel that they can’t afford a professional teeth cleaning and exam, although these routine services are usually covered by dental insurance and are very affordable for uninsured patients.
- Busy schedule: Patients often report that they simply don’t have the time in their schedule to come see us for cleanings and exams. However, these appointments usually take less than an hour.
- Underestimating importance of professional care: Patients may believe that their home oral hygiene routine is sufficient to maintain their oral health.
Consequences of Missed Checkups and Cleanings
If you don’t get a teeth cleaning and dental exam on a regular basis, you may develop advanced oral diseases, such as extensive tooth decay or severe periodontitis. Ironically, the issues that may keep people from seeking preventive care can actually occur in its absence.
The interventions to treat advanced oral disease are more involved and may be associated with more discomfort, potentially reinforcing dental anxiety. They’re also more expensive and time-consuming. If you don’t invest time and a relatively small amount of money in preventive care up front, you may face costly interventions that require a longer recovery period later. That can really interfere with your routine.
Have you been lax about your preventive dental care? Come to our office to get back on track. Call the office of Dr. Barry H. Buchanan today to schedule your appointment.