Some patients may put off dental appointments if they’re not suffering from any pain or having any other oral health problems. Unfortunately, this attitude can create the need for more extensive treatments at a later time.
When you see a dentist every six months, which is generally the recommended interval, your teeth and gums are monitored regularly for any symptoms of concern. If no more than a few months elapse between exams, then a cavity is unlikely to get very large. Similarly, gum disease will not have the opportunity to progress much before the patient can get treatment.
Therefore, early diagnosis has a number of benefits. Typically, a dentist can treat early-stage oral diseases with conservative interventions. For example, a new cavity can be addressed with just a small filling in many cases.
However, if a patient goes for several months or even years without an exam or other care, a small problem can become a big one, requiring more intensive treatment, such as more extensive decay that might necessitate a crown or even extraction. Sometimes surgery may even be necessary.
At a family dentistry practice, the providers are equipped to handle a wide variety of problems, such as cavities, early-stage gum disease and damaged or injured teeth. The same practitioners who are examining your teeth (and with whom you have a good relationship) can treat oral diseases before they have progressed. More advanced conditions may warrant referrals to specialists.
Keep in mind that the professional cleanings you get at these appointments also play an important role in your oral health. Even the most conscientious brushers and flossers may leave some bacteria-filled plaque behind, especially in the areas of the smile that are hardest to reach. A hygienist has better angles on your mouth, and the professional instruments used in cleanings are highly effective at removing tartar, which patients can’t eliminate with normal brushing and flossing.
Don’t delay your next check-up and cleaning. Your smile will reap many benefits from routine care. If it’s been more than six months since your last appointment, contact the office of Dr. John B. Morris at 269-979-1500 today to schedule a time to get back on track!