It is absolutely vital to see your dentist regularly regardless of how good you feel about your oral health. As the old saying goes….” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Why is it important to go to the dentist regularly?
Most dental problems do not hurt in their initial stages. Therefore there are no warning signs or symptoms of them. For example, a small developing cavity will not hurt or cause any sensitivity, and you cannot even see it, especially if it is located between teeth. During a routine dental visit, such cavities can easily be picked up on a bitewing digital x-ray, preventing further tooth decay and minimizing the need for root canals, crowns, or extractions.
If you are experiencing issues like bleeding gums, recurrent mouth ulcers, or an abnormal red/white spot that does not heal, it is extremely important to see the dentist immediately. A visit to your dentist will minimize potential problems like gum disease (Periodontitis) and oral cancer. As a child, going to the dentist is essential in preventing tooth decay, premature tooth loss, and orthodontic issues like crowding teeth and even developing TMJ issues. A dentist and his team can also educate you on the proper way of brushing, flossing, and taking care of your teeth. They can also give you sound advice regarding your diet and how it affects your teeth and oral hygiene.
At White Rose Family Dental, we encourage our patients to have regular checkups and cleanings and ask us specific questions regarding how to improve their oral health so that we can guide them accordingly.
Who should go to the dentist more often?
Preventive Dental visits greatly improve oral health while minimizing dental problems like cavities, gum disease, and dental infection and even allow early detection of oral cancer. Most dental insurances allow a preventive dental visit every 6 months. In some cases, like pregnancy or if a person has a history of gum disease, some insurances may cover it more frequently, like every 3 months. Regardless of insurance coverage, how frequently you need to go to the dentist depends upon the patient’s own dental needs, their ability to take care of their teeth, their age, their genetic predisposition to caries or gum disease, their overall health, and if they have habits like night grinding, chewing tobacco, smoking cigarettes or vaping. Patients who have medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome or are taking multiple medications that can reduce salivary flow or patients with a history of head and neck radiation are also especially vulnerable to tooth decay and would need to see the dentist more frequently (preferably every 3 months). Patients with arthritis who have difficulty holding and using a toothbrush or are on long-term steroids should also see the dentist more frequently.
How to decide how frequently you need to go to the dentist?
If you are having persistent problems like bleeding gums, tooth decay, constant food impaction in between teeth or around existing dental crowns/bridges, having a foul odor coming from the mouth, dental pain or discomfort, sensitivity, or experiencing abnormal growths/ulcers in the mouth; you need to get in touch with the dentist more frequently than the regular 6-month interval. Most of us like to procrastinate on a dental appointment, hoping and praying that “things will get better on their own,” but unfortunately, in the field of dentistry, delaying proper dental care will only make things worse. For most patients, going to the dentist every 6 months is appropriate. Still, for patients with the conditions outlined above, it’s advisable to visit the dentist more often, preferably every 3 months.
Can I start going to the dentist if I haven’t gone before?
The answer is Yes, of course. If you haven’t gone to the dentist before due to anxiety, fear, lack of dental insurance, or any other personal reasons, don’t worry. You are not alone; we at White Rose Family Dental LLC welcome you as our new patients. We offer a comfortable, relaxing environment and flexible financing options through Care Credit financing. Please seek dental care to protect yourself from catastrophic dental events like tooth loss, irreversible gum disease, dental infection, or for early detection and treatment of TMJ issues or oral cancer. Do not wait; it will only make things worse for you.
What to expect during your dental visit
During your initial visit, the dentist will perform a comprehensive oral evaluation. They will inspect each tooth, checking for tooth decay and fracture lines. After that, they will measure the pocket depth to check for potential gum disease. We will also look for signs/symptoms of oral cancer or TMJ issues. Intra-oral pictures are taken using a high-resolution camera, and pictures are projected on a TV screen, making diagnosis simple. Digital radiographs are taken to detect cavities under existing crowns/bridges and between teeth. A panoramic x-ray can show bone loss and problems with wisdom teeth and potential jaw issues like developing cysts, tumors, or any pathologic condition like oral cancer. Advanced imaging techniques coupled with lasers and intra-oral photography can help detect developing dental problems, allowing the patients to get appropriate dental care immediately.
A thorough medical history is taken, and treatment options are discussed. The pros and cons of each treatment option, its associated costs, and risks/benefits are discussed in detail. The dentist will answer your questions and create a custom treatment plan.
At White Rose Family Dental, we believe that the first step in helping our patients is to collect all pertinent information, listen to patient concerns/questions, come up with accurate diagnoses, and design treatment options that patients can trust and at prices that they can afford! Please call us at 717-822-0272 or click here to make your initial appointment, and we promise you will not be disappointed.!