Checkups & Cleaning
Checkups & Cleaning
With life as busy as it is, there are lots of reasons to justify putting off your biannual dental checkup and cleaning. The time it takes to attend an appointment is often cited as the reason that families don’t get in as often as they should, but we think that there are many more reasons to attend than not to. Here are our 5 top reasons that you should prioritize your family’s preventative maintenance appointments:
Reduce Emergency Visits
Those patients who put off checkups often don’t consider the potential for problems to arise, requiring emergency appointments. For example, patients who have not been assessed for dental cavities often don’t know about them until they have a cavity that has worn through the enamel, through the dentin, and into the tooth’s chamber. Eventually, they may find themselves at the dentist, having endured the painful infections that could have been prevented or resolved in its early stages. Where a small cavity could have been identified and filled without unnecessary pain or stress, these cavities often require that the tooth be killed with root canal therapy and a crown or they must be extracted.
Tooth infections are serious, since they impact the inner pulp of the tooth which also houses the nerve and blood supply to the tooth. That means that infections in teeth that go untreated risk spreading through the blood supply, something that can be dangerous to your health. So, before you decide to skip your next appointment, consider whether the risk of invasive procedures and the accompanying discomfort are truly worth the risk.
Whether you visit the Dentist every six month as recommended, or if you haven’t been to the Dentist in years, we want to help you gain and maintain good oral health.
Proactive Treatment vs. Troubleshooting
As children grow, it is important to keep up with their preventative maintenance appointments in order to limit challenges later on. When children begin to lose their baby teeth in preparation for emerging adult teeth, crowding can be a problem. Without proactive treatment, crowding can require expensive orthodontic treatment later on in order to correct the misalignment that occurred as a result of the limited space.
When a child has their annual X-rays completed, it allows the dentist to identify potential concerns early on, and make plans to prevent crowding by using techniques such as preventative extractions or appliances like spacers to prevent drifting of teeth. With preventative maintenance, there is more likelihood of adult teeth coming in looking straight and healthy.
More Oversight of Critical Conditions
Conditions such as diabetes require that more attention be paid to professional cleaning and good nutrition in order to prevent common problems such as gingivitis and even periodontal disease that can affect other areas of the body, like the heart. Since periodontal disease can be difficult to reverse once it is established, the best approach is to keep on top of the health of the oral tissues. To let this go by the wayside is to invite necessary interventions like antibiotics, root planing and even surgery in severe cases.
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D&D Dental Clinic Mill Woods Edmonton prides ourselves in offering gentle and compassionate dentistry with the same care and comfort we want for ourselves.
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Oral Hygiene at Home is Important, but it Can’t do Everything
You brush, you floss, but it isn’t enough. That’s because even healthy mouths that enjoy a pristine hygiene routine accumulate some degree of tartar. Tartar develops when plaque begins to mineralize and harden. Typically, it accumulates around the collar of teeth where the teeth meet the gums. Not only does tartar irritate the gums, leading to potential problems like gingivitis, but it is readily stained by highly pigmented drinks and activities like coffee, red wine or smoking.
Removing tartar from around the teeth cannot be accomplished by your toothbrush, floss or rinses. Because it has hardened against the enamel, a professional cleaning is required to break the tartar away from the enamel without scratching or chipping this important layer of protection. So, while you should continue to reduce the potential for tartar accumulation by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, it is still important to stay ahead of tartar by attending your regular cleaning appointments.
Reduce Potential for Surprises
While we might love surprises on our birthday or on Christmas morning, we know of almost no one who enjoys a surprise when it comes to the dentist. Surprises occur when too much time has elapsed since the last checkup and opportunities to identify asymptomatic conditions is forfeited. Conditions such as dentigerous cysts are known to start small and grow to be a problem, when it announces itself with swelling of gums or drifting of the teeth. By the time these problems have offered noticeable symptoms, they have often already caused damage to the root of the tooth and even the root of neighbouring teeth. This has the best chance of being caught early by ensuring that you undergo regular X-rays in order to address such problems in their early state.
How to Keep on Top of Oral Health
In order to protect your oral health, ensure that each adult in your home is seen a minimum of annually, and children should be seen more often. Ask your dentist to put you on a reminder list to receive texts or phone calls when it is time for your next dental visit. We often recommend that patients book their next appointment at the front desk before leaving for the day. This ensures that it is in your calendar and you are less likely to forget. Families may choose to book in advance to be seen in one extended appointment, rather than several brief appointments. This decreases stress on each member of the family in terms of the number of appointments that would otherwise need to be booked, potentially interfering with work or extracurricular activity scheduling.
For questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.