Why Dental Checkups Are Essential

Dental Checkups Are Essential

Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS

Dental Checkups Are Essential

Most people think they have good oral health, perceiving that their teeth and gums are in perfect condition. However, when a toothache arrives, or they have bad breath or lose a tooth, they begin to worry and pay more attention to oral health care.

According to  PAHO, the lack of care is unfortunate since with good habits and regular checkups, most oral health problems could be prevented.It can happen if people  learn the importance of oral health.

Oral health is one of the main factors that contributes to human well-being given that the mouth is  the protective barrier for the health of the whole organism.

Why should you regularly visit the dentist?

Periodic or regular check-ups by the dentist can detect and help prevent many of the problems associated with oral health, either an infection or  problem associated with the gums, teeth, and in general of the oral cavity.

In addition to beaming a radiant smile for aesthetic reasons, there are many benefits to regular visits to the dentist. Oral health problems  can be prevented with an early diagnosis. At the early stage of a possible dental disease, treatment can be simple and affordable.  

In short, the way to avoid complications and more invasive treatments is to detect problems in time, through regular dental consultations. In the long run this practice will have a favorable impact on the patient, minimizing discomfort, and reducing costs and possible expensive and difficult treatments.

Additionally, many oral problems increase the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases because the bacteria that cause gingivitis or cavities, for example, can reach the bloodstream and affect any area of ​​the body.

What is the importance of going to the dentist?

Some patients avoid going to the dentist for different reasons. One of the most common is a lack of time or the costs of some treatments; however, others evade these consultations due to fear, anxiety or a phobia, which usually occurs at an early age in childhood. On the other hand, adults avoid going to the dentist the most or they choose to interrupt their regular dental treatments.

Nonetheless, we have indicated the importance of going to the dentist for regular visits. It is appropriate at any age, not just when a complication arises. Sometimes it is too late, and the condition will generate pain, affect one’s appearance, and cause discomfort and higher treatment costs since the needed dental work may go on for some time.

Oral hygiene at home is very important to keep plaque and tartar under control, as well as to prevent cavities. It also minimizes the possibility of presenting some gum diseases. When this practice is accompanied by visits to the dentist, other preventive treatments can be carried out in the office, such as stone removal and fluoride application to prevent cavities. They are very important in preventing the development of diseases in the mouth, which if untreated, can become a much bigger health issue in the long run.

What problems can be detected at the dentist?

Most oral diseases are difficult  to identify since most people  are not clear about signs or symptoms. For example, cavities in their initial phase do not engender pain, which is also true for periodontal disease or oral cancer. For this reason, it is better to seek the diagnosis of a qualified dental professional capable of detecting oral health problems in their initial stage, such as bleeding gums or incipient cavities that begin as a small demineralization of the tooth. In addition,  early detection allows the dentist to carry out simpler and less invasive treatments to improve the patient’s experience during the consultation.

Problems that can be detected in the consultation are:

1.  Signs or symptoms of cancer in the mouth

2.  Gum disease.

3.  Need for dental cleaning: prophylaxis, deep or periodontal

4.  Consultation on teeth whitening

5.  Management or treatment of an existing dental problem

6.  Preventing oral health problems from becoming a general health problem.

What is done in a dental checkup?

During a routine dental visit, the dentist (or dental hygienist) will safely assess the condition of the gums, examine the head and neck, looking for anything out of the ordinary, and then check the mouth for any signs of oral cancer, diabetes, or a vitamin deficiency.

He or she may also perform:

  • Exam of the teeth, gums, and mouth.
  • General review of the state of health, current diseases, or comorbidities to determine if any are associated with an oral health problem.
  • Professional cleaning and fluoride application
  • X-rays if necessary
  • Follow-up or review of any treatment or dental problem presenting since the last check-up
  • Education on the importance of hygiene at home and periodic check-ups with the dentist
  • If necessary, recommendation for a necessary treatment or a particular oral health care product or procedure.

In the end, the dentist will review any recommendations at your next periodic visit or in the event of gum disease, they will suggest more frequent reviews.

How often should we have a dental checkup?

The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist every six months, or sooner if necessary. It is important to eliminate the habitual but erroneous habit of going to the dentist only when we have a dental complication or feel pain. In general, pain is the last  symptom in most dental pathologies, which indicates that an infection has reached a certain level of severity.

In order to detect frequent oral problems in time, it is advisable to go to a dental consultation at least twice a year. It is time to set aside the fear of the dentist and put your trust in a qualified professional, who will protect the health of your gums and teeth.

The importance of dental checkups in children

Children should be more careful and more aware of their oral health. It is important that from a very young age an oral care routine is encouraged. They should learn to take care of their teeth by themselves and  visits to the dentist should be part of their regular routine.

However, it must be taken into account that the youngest members of the household are always the most reluctant to visit the dentist. They are not aware of the need to maintain good dental cleaning and oral health. For this reason, visiting the dentist has to be a satisfying event in a place where the child feels comfortable. Then he or she can receive personalized attention, both for his problem and  age.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in  Oxnard, Santa Paula, VenturaNewbury Park, and  Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.

Bibliography

1.  Fee PA, Riley P, et al. to. (2020). Recall intervals for oral health in primary care patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 10. Art. No.: CD004346. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004346.pub5. https://www.cochrane.org/es/CD004346/ORAL_how-frequently-you-should-see-your-dentist-for-a-checkup

2.  Pan American Health Organization – PAHO. (nd). Oral health is essential for general health. PAHO/ oral health program. https://www3.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8387:2013-oral-health-vital-overall-health&Itemid=0&lang=es#gsc.tab=0

3.  American Dental Association. (nd). Your Top 9 Questions About Going to the Dentist—Answered!. MouthHealthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist/

4.  American Academy of Pediatrics. (nd). Why Regular Dental Visits Are Important. Healthychildren.org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Why-Regular-Dental-Visits-Are-Important.aspx

5.  Loat, S. (Feb 27, 2019). The importance of regular dental visits. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/the-importance-of-regular-dental-visits

6.  Shalaby, A. (Oct 28, 2016). Why Dental Health Check Ups are so Important. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/why-dental-health-check-ups-are-so-important

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