If the last time you saw the dentist, gas was under two dollars a gallon, you’re probably overdue for a checkup. Though many people mistakenly believe that they only need to schedule a dental appointment if they’re experiencing discomfort, preventive care, such as checkups and cleanings, are essential to enjoying a lifetime of oral health. Daily brushing and flossing can help prevent how much plaque buildup occurs between visits, but only a professional cleaning can remove it once it’s there. Since plaque can cause cavities, and even gum disease, there is no reason to skip out on regular, professional dental care.
What to Expect
The extent of cleaning necessary during a routine visit will largely be dependent on how well you take care of your teeth, but factors like your dietary choices, whether or not you smoke, and your hereditary can also influence how easy or difficult it is to maintain a healthy smile.
Before carefully removing plaque and thoroughly cleaning your teeth, the dentist will perform an exam to check for burgeoning issues or concerns. During this initial checkup, the dentist will look for warning signs of cavities, infection and gum disease, which are all, unfortunately, quite common.
Exploring Treatment Options
If you are already experiencing any dental concerns, such as heightened sensitivity or pain, these may be warning signs that restorative treatment may be necessary. If any issues are detected during your checkup, the dentist will discuss your restorative options with you.
Most dentists prefer to use the least invasive treatment possible, such as a simple filling to deal with a cavity, as opposed to root canal treatment, which is only necessary when the interior of your tooth has become infected. If treated promptly, most people are able to save a tooth even after a cavity or infection.
Just remember that regular preventive care should help limit how much extensive care is required to keep your smile healthy, making regular visits (and cleanings) a worthwhile investment in your oral health.