What to Expect from Routine Exams
Some people find it hard to find the time for routine dental check-ups. When there is no pain and everything seems fine, what’s the rush? Dental offices would like to see patience every six months for routine cleanings. Why patients feel like it is such a waste of time to go to the dentist for routine cleanings without a cause?
Ask any dentist and they will tell you:
Routine cleanings are never a waste of time!
Yes, it is easy to ignore scheduling a trip to the dentist when there is no pain to get your attention. It doesn’t make cleanings any less important. Routine cleanings are preventative visits, similar to your physician’s yearly physical. Catching problems in the early stages make treatment a much simpler process. Oral health plays a vital role in overall health.
What to expect from routine dental visits:
• X-rays – Inner mouth pictures give the dentist a detailed look at your teeth, roots and gums. The dentist will compare last visit’s x-rays to the present day looking for changes not visible with the naked eye. Dental offices with digital imaging have 3D options for more precise diagnosis capabilities. Digital imaging also reduces radiation exposure.
• Cleaning and plaque removal – Tooth decay occurs when plaque remains on teeth and tartar sets in. Daily brushing and flossing routines will help to prevent plaque build-up. The hygienist will remove plaque and tartar to prevent cavities and periodontal diseases.
Routine Exams = Prevention!
• Dental Inspection – Prior dental work is closely inspected for infractions or signs of wear and tear. Replacements are best done before a lost filling or crown becomes an emergency.
• Education – If there are certain tooth areas with more tartar than others, the hygienists can offer tips for a more complete at-home care.
• Gum inspection – Periodontal disease is best knocked out before it has time to set deep into the gums. Pocket levels are measured and inspected for gingivitis (a very treatable early sign of potential periodontal disease). Depending on the severity, deep cleaning of the gum tissue may be necessary. Dentists will often schedule a separate appointment for quadrant deep cleaning. Only the infected areas will receive treatment.
• Diagnosis – During routine cleanings, small cavities and cracks are identified and scheduled for treatment before they have the time to set deeper into the tooth and create more extensive problems.
• Polished teeth – Besides cleaning stuck on plaque and tartar, the hygienist will polish your teeth. It feels good to leave the office with an improved smile.
Ignore the impulse to overlook routine dental care! People make up the worst excuses to justify not taking the time to spend an hour in the operatory every six months.
• It’s going to hurt and I don’t like pain. Actually, it’s going to hurt a whole lot more if you leave the problem to fester into dental emergencies.
• It’s already been over a year, they will be mad. No one is going to be mad. They are professionals that you are paying to complete a service. You may get some advice, but they are only looking after your best interest.
• I brush and floss every day, I don’t need to go. That excuse was tackled above in the description of “what to expect from routine dental visits”.
• Afraid that you need more work done on your mouth? The sooner you treat the problem, the less involved the treatment and in most cases, the less money you will spend.
Believe it or not, your dentist understands phobias, affordability problems and time constraints associated with dental exams. It is much easier to schedule an appointment that fits your daily schedule rather than squeeze in an emergency appointment. Preventative care is safe, virtually pain free and costs much less than corrective treatment plans. Call Green Dental & Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for routine care, your smile will thank you for it.