Some patients may believe that routine dental exams are unnecessary if they’re not having any oral health issues, but the truth is that such check-ups can actually prevent advanced oral diseases from developing.
If you see your dentist every six months, you may have any minor problems, such as small cavities or early stage gum disease, diagnosed when the treatment can be quite conservative. When an issue like periodontal disease or tooth decay has the opportunity to advance, patients may face surgical interventions to reverse the damage or even the possibility of tooth or bone loss. Although you can get a prosthetic device to replace a missing tooth, keeping the real thing is your best option in all cases.
Dental exams also typically include an oral cancer screening. This component of your check-up is potentially life-saving, as oral cancer is readily treated when caught before it spreads. Unfortunately, the disease often isn’t diagnosed until it has invaded other tissues. Semiannual dental appointments may allow for the identification of a malignancy in an early stage.
Furthermore, a dentist who sees you twice a year, rather than sporadically, will be more familiar with your teeth and gums and will know what is normal and what is abnormal for you.
Even when you get a clean bill of oral health after a check-up, you’ll still have peace of mind that your smile is in tip-top shape.
Most patients also get preventive cleanings at the same time as their semiannual dental exams, and this is another benefit of keeping such appointments. A dental hygienist is better able to reach all of the surfaces of your teeth during the cleaning, so the hygienist can remove plaque that might linger even with all of your own brushing and flossing efforts.
If you’ve been slacking on your dental check-ups, get back in the groove! Doing so can protect your oral health. Call our office to schedule your next appointment as soon as possible.