Are Dental Exams Necessary?
Dental exams are necessary to find dental problems and fix them as soon as possible to prevent them from causing further damage to your pearly whites. The twice-a-year dental checkup recommendation was just a best guess for preventive dentistry. No one could trace how it really started. However, some said that it actually came from one of the toothpaste ads of Pepsodent, a leading brand of toothpaste.
Although it would be difficult to find the origin of that recommendation, it has proven to be a useful way to prevent dental issues from occurring. However, scheduling your dental visits and exams will still be based on your condition, habits and hygiene.
Is It Necessary to See a Dentist Regularly?
Even if you take care of your teeth at home by brushing and flossing twice or thrice a day, there are still dental problems that you may not see or even feel. That said, you should consider making a dental appointment on a regular basis.
Some dental problems, such as gum disease and oral cancer, do not cause pain until they are already in their advanced stages. With regular dental exams, your dentist can detect some early signs of diseases and treat them as soon as possible. Most dental problems are treatable, as long as they are still in their manageable stages.
Consulting and seeing your dentist every six months works well for the majority of people. For those lucky ones, they can get away with just once a year visit. However, there are those who really need to see their dentist more frequently.
Risk of Cavities and Gum Problems
If you are told that you have very little risk of suffering from cavities or gum problems, you could do fine visiting your dentist once a year.
On the other hand, if you have a high risk of dental disease, you should consider visiting your dentist at least every three months. This is especially true if you are a smoker, pregnant, diabetic or with current gum problem.
Dentists also recommend visiting their dental clinics to patients with weak immune system as they are more prone to bacterial infection, cavities and plaque buildup.
Then again, this frequency may change. For instance, if you are stressed out or suffering from an illness or disease, you may need to visit your dentist for dental exams more often than the usual. In this way, you can easily fight off infection or treat the changes going on in your mouth.
On the other hand, if your dentist does not find any gum disease or cavities for a few years, he/she may recommend lengthening your time between visits.
Dental Exams Involved
Dental exams do not just involve looking into your teeth. Instead, your dentist will check other areas of your mouth for any signs of diseases and other health problems. Your head and neck will also be checked, as well as your lymph nodes, TMJ and salivary glands.
Your face and lips will be examined as well for any unusual swelling, bleeding or abnormalities.
Your gums, tongue, and cheeks are checked. Occlusion and clinical exam of your teeth are also performed. And if your dentist thinks that you may be suffering from some forms of cavities, he/she may advise for an X-ray.
During check-ups, you may need to undergo professional dental cleaning and polishing. Then, if your dentist finds problems, steps to fix them will be discussed. Usually, if the dentist has a dental hygienist, the dental cleaning will be performed by the hygienist, instead of your dentist. Do not worry. These dental hygienists are trained professionals to perform their duties well.
Dental exams will depend on your condition. But undergoing them will help you maintain a healthy mouth. This is especially true if you have a bad lifestyle. When talking to your dentist, you should tell him/her about your fears of dentist. In this way, he/she will know the proper approach in handling your case.
It is also necessary that you talk about your diseases, regardless of what they are. Then, discuss the medicines that you are currently taking, including the herbal supplements. Some of these drugs and supplements may affect your oral health. You should also tell your dentist if your teeth are becoming more sensitive than usual.
By undergoing regular dental exams, you dental problems can be easily fixed.