“I haven’t been to the dentist in years!”
It’s never a good thing to hear or say. As dentists, we hear this way too much.
It may sound like a good thing to some, for those who don’t particularly like the idea of a visit to the dentists’ chair. Perhaps things are going so swimmingly among your teeth that the need didn’t seem to be presenting itself. But there’s a reason why we recommend you make an appointment to see us every six months. You’re going to benefit, and you could end up saving yourself the undue expense, pain and long-term damage to your teeth.
Prevention is always better than a cure
If you think that a dentist only works on your teeth, you’d be wrong. There are other parts of dental health that need consideration. You benefit from a regular visit to the clinic by giving your dentist the opportunity to notice anything that concerns them, things that may turn into larger issues later on. As an example, noticing a small cavity developing or gums that aren’t in good shape, immediate treatment can be applied.
Plaque build-up and gum diseases will often go unnoticed because it hasn’t been spotted soon enough. Your dentist can also screen for any early signs of oral cancers or other major illnesses. Early intervention can be lifesaving!
There are a lot of people who aren’t informed on proper ways to do what’s best for their dental hygiene. Most people only brush their teeth once a day and never floss; having regular check-ups means you can be advised about how you should be brushing twice a day, and regularly flossing. It’s small steps like this that can have a major long-term benefit for you and your family.
Peace of mind
Any kind of pain or concern with your teeth has the potential to keep you awake at night – literally. Issues with your teeth can potentially lead to very serious consequences if untreated. Dentists keep up with the ‘state of play’ in your mouth, and provide better treatments for any pain or discomfort you might be experiencing. Once we know what’s going on, we can provide a plan for a follow-up to ensure your good dental health is ongoing – and hopefully permanent.
This might sound contradictory, but it’s the truth. A twice-yearly visit to the dentist – even when you don’t feel you have any significant issues that need addressing – is a good investment. Anyone who is disciplined enough to religiously go to the dentist twice a year for check-ups and proper cleaning is usually someone who doesn’t run into big problems, and the big problems are where the dollars really start to add up. These people usually keep their teeth for longer periods, have less expensive work required in the future, and wind up saving money in the long run. Another way of saving money is managing damage in teeth such as cracked teeth, cavities, in the initial stages. This allows us to reinforce or strengthen teeth thereby preventing loss of teeth.
A regular dental check-up is a good and necessary thing, and it’s something you should do every six months. Regular check-ups mean you’re less likely to ever have to deal with the more serious dental issues which require long, uncomfortable and often invasive treatments. We’ve covered a small handful of the benefits of getting routine check-ups; the next time you come in and see us, we can provide you with a host more.
By Dr Gautam Herle