5 Reasons why Regular Check-Ups are so important
Many people have grown up with mixed feelings about spending time in the dentist’s chair. They don’t like the sound of the drill or don’t feel comfortable with someone working in their mouth, perhaps.
They’re quite prepared to rush to the dentist when toothache has kept them awake for nights on end or their face has swollen to such an extent that no-one recognizes them.
However, when there is no pain, they question whether there is any gain to be had from making an appointment for a six-monthly check-up.
Here are 5 good reasons why you really do have everything to gain by making regular visits to your dentist.
Build a relationship with your dentist:
A regular visit lets your dentist develop a knowledge of you and your dental and medical history. This will enable him or her to notice any changes that fall outside your usual profile.
At the same time, you can build enough confidence in your dentist to tell him or her about concerns you have had and changes you have noticed in your own mouth.
Catching general health problems early:
The dentist is in the perfect position to notice if there are any signs of serious oral issues, like gum disease or oral cancer and take appropriate action early if there is trouble brewing.
Gum disease has been linked to strokes and heart attacks, and can damage the bones supporting the gums and teeth, so its presence is a call to rapid action.
Oral cancer which affects the mouth, tongue or throat area, has a fatality rate of 1 in 6 people diagnosed with the disease.
Changes in your bite following extractions or because you grind your teeth can also put strain on the jaw joints responsible for movement, leading to pain and even locking of the jaw.
Keeping an eye on your teeth.
With regular check-ups the dental professional can watch for the development of new cavities you probably didn’t even know you had, as well as for the signs of old dental fillings breaking down. Fillings have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years but can sometimes last for double that length of time. It’s hard to predict exactly when they will break down but when they do it can cause problems.
These old fillings can loosen and allow bacteria in to cause damage near the base of the tooth. You might not even notice until it is too late to save the tooth. Many teeth break off as a result of a cavity forming under an old filling. This leads to the need for a crown or implant, both of which are costly procedures.
Prevention is better than cure: Preventative treatment like scaling to remove tartar and plaque build-up; or the application of fissure sealant or topical fluoride might be used to prevent the further development of oral problems.
Keeping you in the program: Your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and advise you on the best way to treat them. This could involve providing information on dietary constraints or on how to improve your existing oral hygiene routine. He or she may also suggest some sort of treatment to help prevent any existing issues getting worse.