Why do I Need to See the Dentist at Least Twice Each Year?
If you have a history of developing cavities or stains on your teeth, it is obvious why you need to visit the dentist on a regular basis. However, for those who seldom have cavities or don’t accumulate much stain on the teeth, you may wonder why we insist on seeing you every six months. While there are plenty of studies and vast amounts of data to support six months check-ups, the bottom line is we base our recommendations on early detection and preventative care.
The earlier we find a cavity, the easier it is to treat. This means you are less likely to experience sensitivity following the filling because it is less invasive on your tooth. And with a smaller filling, your appointment time is shorter. This means you have to spend less time in a dental chair and more time keeping up with your busy schedule.
Most cavities and other dental issues do not exhibit any painful signs or symptoms until significant damage is done. Our goal is to catch any problems early and treat them before it causes you discomfort. A clinical exam every six months and bitewing x-rays every year are critical in diagnosing developing problems that may not otherwise be noticeable. Absence of pain does not mean absence of dental problems.
Tarter (calculus), the hard buildup on your teeth, is a collection of bacteria that has formed on your teeth. Once it has formed on and around your teeth, simple brushing and flossing will not be enough to remove these deposits. Our hygienists use specialized instruments to remove the calculus and allow your teeth and gums to remain healthy. We do not recommend that our patients use their own ‘tools’ at home to remove the deposits in an effort to avoid cleaning appointments. You will not be able to remove all of the calculus and will likely leave some underneath the gums. Left unchecked, this can lead to more serious infections.
Frequent and consistent visits to the dentists are essential in maintaining your health and for diagnosing and treating problems early. Doing so will end up saving you time and money in the long run and will hopefully keep your teeth and gums pain free.