Why is it important to see the dentist regularly?
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) is a national body that recommends seeing the dentist every 6 months. But why is it so important to see the dentist regularly? This is because a 6-monthly check-up and clean can help keep your teeth and gums healthy as well as help detect diseases early.
When oral health issues are detected early, it can result in a greater treatment outcome as well as become cheaper for the patient, suggests Dr Tasha Bhullar, Dentist at Coastal Dental Care Robina Village. Ignoring or leaving oral concerns until they become troublesome can be much more difficult to treat.
Prevention is always better than a cure.
“6-monthly check-up and cleans are a great way to stay ahead of your dental health before it becomes a problem. Most of our patients are concerned about the costs of dental treatment. Realistically, a check-up and a clean every 6 months is a lot cheaper than leaving things to worsen and developing oral concerns like root canals and crowns” advises Dr Ayad and Dr Vanderburg.
Moreover, your dentist can point out potential issues you might be susceptible to developing and teach you how to prevent these oral problems.
A check-up and clean at Coastal Dental Care consist of:
- Clean (including scale and polish)
- X-rays and;
During your dental visit, your dentist will check your teeth, gums, tongue and mouth for any signs of abnormalities, decay and diseases. Usually the dentist will also check your neck and head to ensure proper function and detect conditions such as TMJ disorder (soreness of the mandible bone).
The duration of a check-up and clean is dependent on how often you see the dentist as well as the condition of your teeth and gums. In general, for a routine patient, a check-up and clean should take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete. However, if an x-ray needs to be taken or the teeth have a higher than normal build-up of plaque, treatment can take up to an hour.
Importance of children seeing the dentist regularly
Dr Alison Downes, dentist and owner of Coastal Dental Care Mudgeeraba agrees seeing the dentist regularly is important to make sure there is no systemic problems, pain or to correct aesthetics. However, the most important factor for families is to get children into the habit of seeing the dentist young, says Dr Downes.
Good oral health starts early, and a child’s first impression of a dental practice can stay with them for a long time. To make sure their first visit is an enjoyable one, Dr Alison Downes suggest to “bring the kids in from a young age so that the first appointment isn’t one that scares them. We have a lot of families where the youngest will come along to the older sibling’s appointment, and just watch what’s going on”. This also helps the youngest child get use to the sounds and smells of a dental practice.
“We may read a book or have a chat to them about the instruments that we use, the tools that we use and so then they feel more confident getting in the chair when it’s their turn. This is much more pleasant than their first appointment resulting from a tooth ache” proposes Dr Downes.
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