The importance of regular dental check-ups
When it comes to having dental check-ups, the general consensus is that you should see your hygienist or dentist every six months.
However, this is a bit of an arbitrary number as the need varies from person to person. Patients whose oral health has been stable for quite some time may need to only see us once a year. On the other hand, high-risk patients with an unreliable oral health regime may need to visit once every three months.
Most people fall into the middle category so six-monthly check-ups are the norm. It’s a good idea to touch base with us a couple of times a year to ensure everything is tracking okay. Our hygienist gives a patient’s teeth a really great clean to keep any build-up to a minimum.
It’s not just teeth checked at dental check-ups
On occasion, we get X-rays to look for things between the teeth and underneath the gums. This lets us look at various parts of the mouth not visible during a regular examination.
When we do a check-up, we look all around a patient’s soft tissues. We also do an oral cancer screening to make sure there are no lumps, bumps or anything that shouldn’t be there. This is a huge advantage of six-monthly check-ups—if we find anything untoward, it is detected early so it’s easily resolved. As with all cancers, your best protection is early detection.
Regular oral health check-ups are important for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly, it’s a great way to uncover issues early. Common dental problems, such as decay and periodontal disease, may not cause any pain until they’re quite advanced.
This means that if you have tooth decay, it’s not going to manifest itself as pain until you have a big hole. Or periodontal disease may not have any associated pain until you have lost a lot of bone around your tooth. Once these things occur fixing problems is almost always more complicated, which also means more expensive.
Both scenarios involve a lot more work to repair. If you have periodontal disease and lose the bone supporting the tooth, the damage is usually irreversible. With tooth decay, your chances of a quick fix are less as you go from a simple filling to a complex restoration. In extreme cases, it may involve a root canal or crown.
To avoid issues such as this, it’s essential to have regular check-ups. This is much more effective than visiting your dentist after a problem has occurred. Not only does a regular check-up save money over time, it’s also a great way to solve any dental issues before they become extreme.
During a check-up, we encourage our patients to bring up any concerns they have about anything in the mouth. That includes throat, tongue, cheeks and even sinuses. If we can’t exactly identify the problem, we know the right direction to point you so you can find the right person who will be able to help you.
A regular dental check-up is an easy and cost-efficient way to keep your smile looking good and your overall health in balance.