Your smile is important. In fact, the impact of your smile can be greater than you even realize. Not only can it influence your confidence level and the impression you leave on others, but it can also affect the health and wellbeing of your whole body. Along with dental cleanings, routine exams are essential to protecting your smile, and keeping it healthy and more beautiful.
Why Are They Important?
Regular brushing and flossing play a big part in maintaining good oral hygiene. In addition to that form of care, routine exams by a dentist provide the opportunity for dental problems to be detected and treated before they get worse. Caught early on, these issues are usually simpler to address, as well as less costly and painful for the patient.
What Dental Problems Are Examined?
Unfortunately, many people only seek out a dentist after tooth pain or structural problems ensue. However, several dental issues such as cavities and gum disease, don’t exactly look or feel like problems until they have progressed to more advanced and severe stages. An evaluation by your dentist will look for signs of those issues, as well as the following possible conditions:
Bite and jaw issues
Broken down fillings or problems with crowns
The need for restorative dentistry
What Can I Expect During an Exam?
Generally speaking, dental exams begin with a cleaning that removes tartar and plaque from the teeth. The dentist will then use a variety of methods to evaluate the different aspects of the teeth, the mouth, and the overall state of your oral health.
Signs of decay and other other issues will be visually examined, and dental x-rays may be taken to diagnosis problems and possibly detect diseases that are not able to be seen. These x-rays can help to reveal bone loss, cysts and tumors, and decay that’s in between teeth or underneath a filling.
What Else Will Be Taken Into Consideration?
Patients should also expect a discussion about possible health problems and/or medications that can have an impact oral health. Even if you can’t exactly see how certain health factors relate to your smile, making them known is the best way to achieve the proper treatment.
For example, you should inform your dentist if you have diabetes, as it increases the risk for periodontal disease and may alter the type of anesthesia or treatment that follows. In addition, certain medications can cause dry mouth, which can increase a person’s chances for tooth decay and cavities.
Dental exams may also address how certain foods and drinks and the use of tobacco can affect a patient’s oral health, as well as the appearance of their smile.
How Often Should I See The Dentist?
Ideally, people should see their dentist on a regular basis. This may sound a bit vague, but according to the American Dental Association, there’s no one set number that will fit every person’s situation. For many patients, twice a year is a suitable amount. However, dental checkups may be necessary every few months for some patients, if their oral condition demands it. Everyone is unique, and that by assessing the condition of your teeth and oral health, a dentist can best determine the frequency of visits that will meet your specific needs.
Talking to Your Dentist
Whether you’re getting your first exam, or it is a routine check up, your appointment period offers the perfect opportunity for clear communication between you and your dentist. Informing your dentist of symptoms and fears, can open the lines of communication and influence treatment. Diagnosis may be helped when issues such as tooth sensitivity and cavity suspicions are readily brought to light.
Additionally, possible fears can be diminished, when a dentist explains the method of treatment and potential pain management options, and shares how advances in dentistry procedures have made it far better and more comfortable for patients all the way across the board.
Scheduling a Dental Exam
Getting your smile back on the right track may seem difficult, especially if your regular dental visits have been more than a little remiss. However, understanding the importance of routine exams to oral health and the wellbeing of the body, the best time to schedule a visit is now.
Feeling fear or regret about not going sooner, are only hurdles that prevent your oral health from being the best it can be. At Samaritan Dental Arts, Dr. Alan Zabolian and his experienced staff take great care in helping patients achieve smiles that are fresher, healthier, and more confident. Schedule a visit at our Los Angeles office if you are ready to take this step today, or please contact us if you have any questions.