Visiting a dentist every six months or so is not one of those appointments most of us look forward to. But the thing is, it’s critical that we do. Most people realize the importance of regular dental checkups when it’s too late. Now, even after brushing your teeth, flossing every now and then, and limiting your sugar intake, some dental issues may be genetic and the only way to get relief is to seek attention from a dental professional. Additionally, there are numerous dental and oral health problems that you may experience apart from just dental plaque, cavity, and bleeding gums.
Simply put, making regular visits to your dentist is essential if at all you want to maintain healthy teeth and good overall oral health. By doing so, it’s easy for your dentist to identify dental problems in their early stages so they can be corrected before they get worse or even reach the point of no return. But it’s so unfortunate, how many people end up suffering from dental issues just because they were ignorant or negligent enough to skip their dental check-up visits as scheduled. So why exactly is it a must for everyone to visit the dentist at least once or twice a year if not more regularly? Read on for some answers to this question.
What Happens During A Dental Visit?
More often than not, most of us consider booking an appointment with the dentist when they have alarming dental problems such as tooth decay. However, this shouldn’t be the case. During a checkup appointment, the dentist will closely evaluate the health of your teeth and your gums, as well as the other parts of your oral cavity to pinpoint any irregularities that may lead to or suggest poor dental health. They may also perform a thorough examination that may help determine the symptoms of major issues such as oral cancer. In addition to this, they may also examine for vitamin deficiency and perform neck and head examinations for anything that may look out of the ordinary. Close attention is paid to tartar, plaque, and tooth decay, especially since plaque and tartar are known to build up over a very short time and can be extremely difficult to manage without professional assistance.
In most cases, the procedures performed during an overhaul dental session may depend on the specific dental practitioner you visit and where they provide their services. This is because your risk of suffering from some dental problems such as brown teeth and tooth decay may be dependent on your geographical and factors such as water quality in that area. In Oregon’s largest city, Portland, for instance, groundwater is moderately hard, with an average pH of between 7.4 and 8.1 and a hardness of approx. 5 grains per gallon. Dr. Nathan Dustin, one of the best dentists in Portland, OR says that depending on their findings, your dentist may recommend extraction, reshaping, or filling. If your problem is more of a cosmetic issue, they may suggest procedures such as mouth reconstruction, gum reshaping, or teeth replacement using dentures, crowns, bridges, or dental implants.
Reasons Why Most People Avoid Dental Visits
It’s important to understand that you’re not the only one who may have the habit of skipping dental visits out of fear, anxiety or certain common insinuations. Once you identify with your fear, it’s going to be easier to overcome your dental anxieties. Here are some reasons why most people shy away from the dentist’s office:
1. Dental Phobia:
This is an emotional reaction to specific stimuli in dentistry. For instance, some people fear the instruments used in dental procedures while some are afraid of the dental procedure itself. Dental phobia is the anxiety that comes from the thought that something awful might happen during the procedure. However, overcoming Dental Phobia isn’t as hard as some people may think. For starters, your dentist is aware that this is an existing problem. They are trained in dealing with these problems using behavioral techniques or medication to keep you calm and comfortable throughout the dental procedure.
While it’s true that some dental procedures are way too expensive for the ordinary person, you may find it beneficial to get a dental insurance plan that works for you. This way, you’ll have an opportunity to save up for any kind of dental procedure. But then again, if you come to think about, if you visit your dentist regularly, you’ll not need the expensive dental procedures.
3. Bad Experiences
Most people have bad memories of dentists from their childhood. But let’s face it, the technology in the early 90s cannot be compared with that of today. The modern dentist is using sophisticated modern dental technology. For instance, if you schedule a dental appointment today, you’ll most likely have a huge flat-screen TV to enjoy at the waiting bay, listen to some music during the procedure, not forgetting the beautiful receptionist who’ll hand you a treat after the procedure!
4. Busy Schedules
In our modern world, we have too much going on and it gets in our way when it comes to scheduling dental visits. But this can only be the case if dental visits are not built into our routines. One thing to note is that, even with your busy schedule, some dentists have programs that are specifically designed to accommodate busy patients. This means that you can schedule your dental visit no matter what time of day, night, or season.
5. Fear Of Criticism
Indeed, some dentists will not shy away from reprimanding you, for instance, if you haven’t been taking care of your teeth. And no one likes to be lectured on their failures, especially given the fact that they’ve been busy taking care of other important matters. Tell off comments are uncalled for and they shouldn’t be in any professional dentist’s mind. These are counter-productive comments that will only make the dentist lose their valuable clients. As a patient, the best approach would be to find a more friendly dentist who’ll take care of you regardless of your misgivings.
One or two of the above issues may prevent you from visiting your dentist. However, it’s important to note that dental visits are for your own good and what your dentist or anyone else thinks about you shouldn’t be a deterring factor. With this in mind, we can comfortably take a look at why visiting a dentist is a must for everyone.
Early Detection Of Dental Problems
Visiting a dentist should be at the top priority of anyone (who has teeth). This is extremely serious, especially given the rising cases of oral cancer and other oral diseases. The signs of oral cancer can go unnoticed, especially during the early stages, which is all the more reason to get regular dental checks. This way, the dentist can schedule diagnostic procedures that will help to detect early stages of common oral diseases and other diseases that may affect your dental health.
Fortunately, early stages of oral cancer are treatable. Dentists are highly trained to recognize the early onset of oral cancer because they know what signs and symptoms to look for. Scheduling dental visits after every 6 months, increases the likelihood of catching serious tooth and gum diseases before they escalate into major problems.
Additionally, some under-the-surface problems are not easily identifiable by the naked eye. A crucial procedure in your regular dental visits is having to get a jawbone x-ray. X-ray images will allow your dentist to diagnose any issues lying under the surface, which are usually hard to see with the naked eye. Problems such as those related to wisdom teeth, a damaged jawbone, cysts, and tooth decay may be impossible to diagnose without X-ray imaging technology.
Full dental check sessions may also be accompanied by head, neck, and lymph node examinations. Problems in your head or the neck area could mean a problem in your dental health as they are all interconnected.
To Prevent Tooth Decay
While the onset of tooth decay may be hard to diagnose, especially with the naked eye, your dentist is professionally trained to quickly pinpoint the problem early enough to arrest it. Well, the huge problem is that tooth decay may progress so quickly within a short time frame. If left untreated, dental cavity may lead to problems such as abscess formation, pulpal decay, dentin decay, and enamel decay. Regular dental checkups can help to prevent decay from damaging your teeth, precisely since upon noticing the first signs of tooth decay, your dentist will recommend addressing the situation before it worsens.
To Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is a common dental/oral problem affecting the gums. The onset of gingivitis is characterized by inflammation around the supporting tissues of the teeth. Gingivitis is usually associated with poor oral hygiene. Oral habits that help to prevent gingivitis include brushing your teeth after meals, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly. The sooner your dentist sees your gums, the higher the chances of reversing the damages brought about by gingivitis and preventing it from progressing to periodontitis.
Failure to visit your dentist regularly could also see gingivitis progress to chronic gingival inflammation. Additionally, the bacteria associated with gum disease can enter your bloodstream, possibly leading to heart problems or lung infections, among other serious health issues. People who have risk factors such as genetics that increase their chances of developing gingivitis need to see their dentists regularly. In addition to this, it’s also important that they also stop smoking and taking certain medications.
To Prevent Plaque
According to a dentist’s point of view, plaques are common problems that happen to everyone. Our mouths contain a lot of bacteria that gradually collects on teeth surfaces, forming a sticky biofilm. The most important aspect, however, is what you do about your plaque problem. If left untreated, plaques will progress into tartar and this increases your risk of developing gum diseases and cavities. Unfortunately, we cannot keep plaque from forming on our teeth, nevertheless, being proactive in preventing it from damaging our teeth is the most important thing we can do. This involves brushing after meals, flossing and visiting a dentist regularly.
Hardened plaque that turns into a tarter can only be removed by a professional dentist. The importance of visiting a dentist routinely helps to prevent plaque buildup. The development of tartar in hard-to-reach places on your teeth makes it hard to remove with regular brushing. The only way to keep it under control is by visiting your dentist twice every year.
To Save Money
Identifying problems related to your oral health before they escalate into major problems could save you a lot of money on expensive dental procedures. Before visiting a dentist, it’s important to stick onto a healthy oral hygiene routine at home. This includes brushing your teeth faithfully, preferably after meals, flossing regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet. Visiting your dentist every six months can help to catch minor oral problems, making it easier to correct them in their early stages. This will go a long way in helping you avoid huge bills on treatment and dental procedures.
To Achieve A Brighter Smile
Did you know that a dazzling white smile can help to improve your self-image and self-esteem? Well, now you know. Visiting your dentist is one way to improve your smile. So many factors such as age-related changes, smoking, and drinking can contribute to a dull smile. There are so many dental procedures that can be performed on your teeth to give you a brighter smile. They include;
- Teeth whitening
If you’re considering a dental makeover, you’ll want to visit your dentist to get a rundown of the estimate and to also know what procedure suits you best.
To Put Off Bad Habits
Some dental habits can negatively impact oral health. Some lifestyle habits such as drinking coffee and smoking will discolor your teeth and give you bad breath. Some other habits that we may not be aware are affecting our teeth include jaw clenching, chewing ice, grinding teeth, and nail-biting. When you schedule an appointment with your dentist, they’ll help identify the damage and what caused it. In addition to this, they’ll advise you on how to alter your lifestyle to prevent further damage to your teeth and overall oral health.
Dental visits are worth your every effort. Dentists are not only concerned with fixing dental problems. There are so many benefits associated with regular dental visits. To some, skipping an appointment with the dentist isn’t a big deal. But one thing to note is that some oral problems can progress so quickly, making it hard to manage by yourself. On that note, we can safely conclude that regular visits to the dentist are a personal mandate to everyone.