A large number of Americans only go to the dentist when they are in pain. This may be due to fear or financial constraints. Some just completely avoid routine dental care until there is a problem. Whatever the reason, this fact indicates that many people do not understand the importance of prevention when it comes to dental care.
The Cost of Waiting Until Something Hurts
Many people think going to the dentist is too expensive. Others are afraid of the dentist and wait until they have severe pain as their motivation. Unfortunately, both of these reasons are counterproductive to proactive dental care.
By waiting until something hurts, you will spend much more money at the dentist than you would if you went regularly for professional cleanings and dental check-ups. When you are in pain with a tooth infection, the cost to fix that one tooth can be more than FIVE TIMES the cost of two cleanings and check-ups.
If you are afraid of the dentist and wait until you have severe pain, the treatment for those larger problems is always more extensive and more invasive. Think root canals and oral surgery.
Instead, let your fear or financial constraints motivate you to be as preventive as possible by never missing a dental visit.
The Role of Dental Check-ups in Prevention
The most common recommendation for preventive dental care is two professional cleanings per year, six months apart. At each of these visits, you will also have an oral evaluation by your dentist. At one of these visits, you will have a small set of x-rays taken.
The value of these preventive dental visits lies in two important factors: 1) early detection and 2) consistency.
By complying with regular dental visits, your dentist and dental hygienist are able to detect the warning signs of issues like cavities, gum disease and tooth cracks. By catching these red flags, they can help you make changes that will stop these problems in their tracks.
When you consistently visit the same dentist and dental hygienist, they are able to detect very small changes in your mouth. This consistency allows them to know what things are “normal” for you and what could be problematic.
Prevention of Cavities
Cavities are preventable!
Very early cavities are stoppable!
These are very important facts to know when you think about your dental care. Knowing that you can stop a cavity in its tracks if you catch it very early should change the way you view those twice-a-year dental visits. Knowing that you can prevent cavities should change the way you eat, drink and snack as well as the way you care for your teeth at home.
All of this is possible only through the individual recommendations you will get from your dentist and dental hygienist at consistent visits. They will help you understand your personal cavity risk and what steps you can take to change that risk level.
Prevention of Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is often called a “silent” disease. This is because it usually does not cause any symptoms. The gum tissue and underlying jawbone can slowly detach from the tooth without any pain at all.
Because destruction can be occurring without any noticeable signs to you, consistent evaluations of your gums and professional teeth cleanings are essential to stopping gum disease!
Prevention of Tooth Cracks
Many people are preventing cavities and gum disease very well, but they are at high risk for cracking and breaking teeth. Nighttime teeth clenching or grinding is one of the most common dental problems we see in today’s adults.
When you clench or grind your teeth, evidence of it shows in your mouth, and your dentist and dental hygienist are able to see the warning signs. By catching these warning signs and beginning some preventive treatment (like wearing a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep), you can save yourself a lot of money and time in dental visits to fix broken teeth.
Early Detection of Oral Cancer
This is probably the most important reason of all to consistently visit your dentist for check-ups every six months.
Oral cancer is on the rise, and it is changing. Oral cancer used to be a disease for old, white male smokers and drinkers. Now it is affecting much younger people with no history of alcohol or tobacco use. Because the demographic of oral cancer has changed and it is more difficult to predict who is at risk, everyone should have an oral cancer screening every six months.
At Premier Dental of Ohio, we are proud to offer the highest technology in oral cancer screening: Identafi. As long as we see you regularly, we will make sure you get the advanced cancer screening you need. And we believe so strongly in the importance of oral cancer screenings that we offer this technology at no charge to you!
Do You Need to Get Back on Track with Consistent Dental Visits?
Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a professional teeth cleaning with one of our wonderful dental hygienists!