At Langley Dental Care in Charlotte, NC, we recommend twice-yearly dental exams. This recommendation comes from years of experience in understanding how to diagnose, treat, and prevent dental issues. Prevention, though, is the most important aspect of maintaining good dental health. While brushing and flossing are great tasks patients can do on their own, they still should also visit the dentist twice a year.
Are twice-a-year dental visits for you? Most likely, the answer is yes. Read below to understand the importance of dental exams.
During your dental exam, you will have the chance to talk to the dentist about any existing concerns or questions. For instance, if you wake up with jaw pain or headaches, you might be grinding your teeth at night. Your dentist knows what signs to look for and can make recommendations that can keep you from cracking your teeth.
Tooth sensitivity to certain foods or situations is another thing to discuss with the dentist if you experience it. From easy topical medications to small preventative fillings, tooth sensitivity can be eliminated. If you have questions about recommended at-home products or care methods to use, feel free to ask. For example, many patients ask whether an electric or manual toothbrush is better for dental care.
The most important reason you have your dentist complete a thorough exam every 6 months is to find problems in your teeth that don’t hurt at all. Dentists are expert detectives and can find minute areas of the teeth and gums destructed by bacteria and acid when they are quite small. This helps the patient keep more tooth structure, stay out of pain, and keep your teeth.
After talking to the dentist, you will undergo a thorough exam of all your teeth and gums. The process may include taking x-rays as well. If the dentist does not find signs of gum disease, you will be cleared for a professional cleaning. However, if you have inflammation or an infection in your gums, you may need a deeper periodontal cleaning to remove bacteria from under the gumline. Getting scaling and root planing done in the early stages of gum disease can prevent the condition from worsening and causing your teeth to become loose or fall out.
The dentist may also address treatment for other dental problems, such as dental decay. If you have a cavity, you will need a filling to stop the growth of decay in the tooth. Delaying a filling may give the bacteria enough time to wear down the tooth to infect the root canals. If this happens, you may experience more pain and may need root canal treatment to fix the issue.
The dental exam also gives you the chance to see if you need to amend your at-home dental care routine. For instance, you might need to remember to floss daily or use a timer to ensure that you brush for a full two minutes. Use the visit as an educational opportunity to improve your dental health.
The importance of dental exams cannot be overstated. In fact, these exams give you the chance to get your dental concerns addressed before they worsen. Without treatment, many conditions can progress quickly to cause tooth loss or widespread infections. However, early intervention can help you to keep your natural smile. Plus, you avoid the pain of dental decay or gum disease.
Twice-a-year dental exams also make routine visits, which can ease some people’s anxiety from going to the dentist. By visiting more frequently than once a year, you have the chance to build a relationship with the dentist. This connection makes it easier to talk about issues or questions you might have. Plus, you can feel more trusting toward the dentist to provide you with quality care, even if you need more intensive treatments beyond exams.
Included with dental exams every six months are professional dental cleanings. These cleanings remove plaque and the hardened plaque known as tartar. You can usually brush away plaque with a toothbrush. However, for any areas that you miss, the plaque hardens into tartar, trapping bacteria against the tooth. You need professional cleanings to get rid of this tartar, which removes a source of decay-causing bacteria. Cleanings every six months reduce the time you have plaque and tartar on your teeth, which keeps your smile healthier.
Our doctors recommend twice-yearly dental exams as a minimum for all patients. However, some people may need to visit more frequently. Those undergoing dental treatments or more frequent dental problems may need to have exams more often than twice a year. If you’re concerned about whether you need to have more than two dental exams a year, you should talk to one of our doctors at your next appointment for a recommendation.
Good dental care with exams twice a year is advantageous in several ways. First, by treating dental decay before the bacteria spreads, you can avoid systemic infections that can occur when bacteria travel through the blood to other parts of the body.
Second, regular dental visits give you the chance to talk to the dentist about cosmetic dental options to improve the appearance of your smile. Teeth whitening, Invisalign, and porcelain veneers are popular options for making the smile whiter, straighter, or more even. However, all these procedures require strong teeth to support the aesthetic changes. If you already maintain a routine of getting exams twice a year, you may be able to start treatment sooner because the dentist knows that you have strong, healthy teeth ready for cosmetic improvements.
With all the benefits of good dental care that includes regular exams, there is no reason not to integrate checkups every six months into your routine.
Take the first step toward preserving your smile by scheduling your twice-yearly dental exams. Contact us at Langley Dental Care in Charlotte, NC, to make an appointment or to get answers to any questions you have about our practice. We believe in the importance of dental exams and encourage all our patients to make these visits a regular habit every six months. Let us become your partners in helping you to get and keep a winning smile with our preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental services.