Why regular dental check-ups are so important?
Visiting your dentist regularly at a recommended interval is such an important part of your overall oral health. This is because a check up is the best way to spot the early risk factors and signs of oral disease. Prevention is key to prolonging the life of your teeth. Prevention also allows for the least expense and inconvenience when it comes to your oral health.
Your dental inspection is much more than a quick glance with a dental mirror. It is a thorough and detailed search for tiny clues that can indicate bigger problems later if they are not caught in time. It is also a way for us to keep and eye on/monitor any issues that we suspect may be developing.
Expect more for longer
These days people don’t want to have false teeth in their sixties or seventies. Instead they want to keep their natural teeth for far longer than their parents or grandparents ever did. We live longer and enjoy a much higher standard of dentistry. This has helped us redefine just how long our natural teeth should last. The key to this fundamental change is a regular dental maintenance plan (or regular routine check-up).
Gum disease is the number one reason for losing teeth. Dentists call it the quiet destroyer, because it progresses slowly, causing inflammation and recession of the gums and jaw bone that retains and supports the teeth. Often it does its work without causing pain. If you delay in getting a check-up and you have gum disease, by the time you notice problems such as discomfort, bleeding, tenderness and worst of all, loose teeth, it may be too late for certain teeth to be saved.
The more dental restoration that‘s been done on a tooth, the more attention it will need over time as the tooth heads down a “restorative pathway”. Heavily restored mouths with many fillings, root canals and crowns will need more frequent examination and x-rays than mouths that have very little work done. Even the best filling in the world has a limited lifespan. Eventually, they all deteriorate and need replacing, either due to breakage or decay beneath them. Crowns and bridges can sometimes last a lifetime because they are made of strong and durable materials. However, their joint with the tooth root underneath can be a weak point. If there is a leakage, the root underneath may decay. Again, it’s so important for the life of the tooth that this is caught early.
The bite should be checked to make sure that the teeth are not only in harmony with each other, but also with the chewing muscles and the jaw joints. An unbalanced bite can cause discomfort, as well as damage the joints and even eventually cause arthritis-type changes in the joint.
Plaque is the most common cause of this unpleasant condition. People are rarely aware that they suffer from this. Good oral hygiene at home, combined with a professionally scaled and cleaned mouth will help eliminate bad breath.
Everyone should have their oral cavity checked for any signs of oral cancer or other soft tissue lesions in the mouth at every dental visit. Those particularly at risk, such as males over forty who smoke and drink significantly, should have a specific screening test carried out.
Aesthetic, or cosmetic dentistry is becoming a normal part of regular, mainstream dentistry. Our teeth send an obvious and visible message about our economic and social health and well being. It makes sense to discuss the colour, shape, position and general appearance of your teeth and smile during your regular dental review.
It’s unrealistic to expect dental restorations to last a lifetime, particularly if you have had them for decades. Don’t wait until something goes wrong because it may be too late to save the tooth.
Remember: dental restoration work will cost more than several years of routine check-ups.
Dental disease never cures itself. The longer you leave treatment, the more difficult it will be to do – taking more time, causing greater discomfort and costing more. So having a regular check-up is the best option – for your oral health as well as for your bank account.
Please send us an email or call us on 01642 308 764 if you wish to make an check-up appointment with one of our friendly dentist.
If you are a new or an existing patient and wish to print our medical history questionnaire form, please click on the download link below.
Other available treatments
Dentures are an option to replace missing teeth. They are extremely important in retaining aesthetics and function when teeth are lost.
Tooth coloured fillings are becoming the preferred way of restoring teeth over metal / silver fillings due to their improved appearance. Discuss the choice of material for a filling with your dentist.