Why you should go to the dentist regularly
There is an ongoing debate on how often people should attend the dentist. No one seems to agree and if the truth be told, most people would rather be doing something else!
Often there are articles in the media reporting that attending once a year or even longer is ok, and for some people at certain times in their lives, this may be true.
However, it makes it hard to know what is best for you!
Click here to watch a video of Dr Morgan talking about why going to the dentist regularly is important.
“In 2013, 64% of people aged 5 and over had visited a dental practitioner in the previous year. Almost half (44%) of adults aged 18 and over had regular dental check-ups with the same dental provider (a favourable visiting pattern). ” (Australian Institute of health and Welfare)
In the same way that not having your car serviced regularly can result in expensive breakdowns; missing out on regular examinations can mean things get out of control. This can result in more complex, invasive and expensive treatment, such as-
A small cavity will develop into a deeper cavity possibly requiring an expensive root canal treatment or extraction.
Gum disease may have progressed to a silent abscess necessitating extraction of the tooth.
Early signs of oral cancer may be missed.
Your dentist is not just about your teeth and gums! Your dentist completes a comprehensive examination of the head and neck region, which means-
Early signs of tooth decay can be treated simply by small fillings, applications of fluoride or coaching in home care
Signs of gum disease can be treated more simply without the need for referral to a specialist or tooth loss
Looking out for signs in your mouth of conditions that may affect your general health
Your dentist is also able to communicate any concerns relating to your general health with other healthcare professionals.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ ideal time to see the dentist, the regularity needs to be tailored to your individual circumstance. Your dentist or oral health professional is an essential member of your family’s health management team. They have the knowledge and expertise to identify problems which may have developed in your mouth. They will then work with you to prevent problems arising in the future.
Seeing them regularly builds a great ongoing relationship with someone you can trust. They then support and motivate you to maintain good dietary and health habits, helping you stay on track.
Do any of these situations apply to you?
“I haven’t been for years and I’m scared I will get told off!”
We’re just pleased to see that you have made a positive health choice, giving you a lecture serves no purpose and will not help you reach your health goals.
“I know I need to have a few things fixed up and I am frightened I will be talked into a long and expensive treatment plan!”
In the same way that your dental health did not deteriorate overnight, we can take things step by step at your pace and work with you to bring your mouth back to health.
“I have other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis and I spend all my time visiting the doctors. I can’t fit the dentist in!”
Having other health conditions makes it all the more important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Infections or inflammation in the mouth can impact your general health and well-being, especially if you have a condition such as diabetes.
“I only go when I have a problem and mostly end up having teeth extracted!”
That’s one way to do it, but eventually you will run out of teeth to extract and will have experienced unnecessary pain and suffering. It’s much better to take back control of what’s happening and be able to plan when you receive treatment.