Why go to the dentist if I don’t have any problems?
Going to the dentist on a regular basis is very important for your oral health. Going for both annual checkup exams and for periodic cleanings are key to maintaining the health of your mouth for years to come. This is due to the fact that brushing and flossing alone are not adequate for maintaining the long term health of your mouth (more on this topic to come).
Did you know that the two most common dental diseases people have are dental caries (cavities) and periodontal disease—the loss of bone and supporting structures around the teeth? Most people do not even know they have one or both of these diseases because often times the signs and symptoms are very mild until they are in an advanced stage. If caught early then the effects of these diseases will be minimal and the treatment will be less complex and less expensive. However, if these diseases have progressed to a more advanced stage, it is good to know that there are treatments that can stop the progression and prevent further damage, and in many instances restore what was lost.
Dental caries in their early stage can often be taken care of with simple fillings or in some cases even be reversed by proper care. However, at this early stage they can only be detected by a proper dental exam. If caries are left to progress further they can weaken the tooth to the point where it can fracture or even involve the nerve of the tooth which requires more extensive and costly treatment to restore what was lost.
On the other hand, periodontal disease can be minimized or even prevented with regular dental exams and cleanings. If caught in its early stages its progression can be minimized or even halted with deep cleanings called scaling and root planning. However, in its advanced stages the treatment often involves gum surgery and even tooth extraction, both of which lead to more complex and extensive procedures to restore.
Going to the dentist on a regular basis gives you the best chance of maintaining optimum health of your mouth. Nevertheless, if problems should arise they will most likely be caught in their beginning stages if regular dental visits are made. On the other hand, choosing not to go to regular dental visits just because you may not feel like you have any problems could be setting yourself up for bigger problems in the near future.