Every dental check-up you show up for offers your dentist a chance to examine your mouth, perform preventative treatments, and fix any issues that have developed since your last visit. Dentists typically recommend coming in for a dental check-up at least two times each year. Doing so reduces the odds of serious dental issues ever developing since they are likely to be noticed in their early stages.
How a dental check-up helps with preventative care
Let us take a look at some of the ways regular visits to the dentist help to prevent oral issues from developing in the future:
1. Assists in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease
Gum disease and tooth decay are two of the most common issues dentists deal with, and poor oral hygiene is a huge factor for both. The teeth in the back of the mouth are the hardest to clean, which makes them more vulnerable to decay.
Routine check-ups are used to examine patients looking for early signs of tooth decay like white spots on teeth or tiny cavities. Fluoride treatment can be used to reverse the early stages of tooth decay, and it also protects teeth against decay by strengthening enamel. Larger cavities can be fixed with fillings or composite bonding.
Teeth cleanings are one of the main treatments people expect when they go for their check-up, and it protects teeth against gum disease and tooth decay. It involves removing plaque and tartar – plaque’s calcified form – from teeth surfaces. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing teeth so it will continue to build up if routine check-ups are missed. Tartar serves as a safe house for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Allows for early detection of oral issues
The earlier a dental issue is detected, the easier – and cheaper – it is to address. For example, the early stages of tooth decay can be reversed with a fluoride treatment, but the advanced stages might require a root canal or an extraction. A fluoride treatment costs less than either of these treatments, and it is not as invasive. Treating dental issues helps to avoid serious dental issues and the pain and discomfort they bring with them.
One important issue dentists evaluate patients for during routine examinations is gum disease. The early stage, called gingivitis, can be reversed with improved oral hygiene, deep cleanings, or laser treatment, but the advanced stage called periodontitis can only be managed. It is a chronic condition that can lead to teeth falling out of their sockets due to damage to the structures that support them. Tools like a probe are used to evaluate gum pockets during dental check-ups, looking for signs of gum disease.
3. Assists in the detection of systemic health issues
Dental check-ups also serve as a chance to detect systemic health issues like oral cancer. The dentist will examine the patient’s lymph nodes and facial structures looking for signs of abnormalities like irregular growths. The dentist might insert a finger into the patient’s mouth looking for bumps and other irregular tissues. Samples might be sent to a lab for further examination.
Get your mouth examined
Need to have a check-up? Give us a call or visit our Davis clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
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